Hero Designer 6th Edition - Hero Games Company

herogames.com

Hero Designer 6th Edition - Hero Games Company

Created by dan Simon


Created By: Dan Simon

Concept: Dan Simon and Steven S. Long

Documentation: Rod Currie

PDF Generation: B. Neumeier

SPECIAL THANKS

From Dan: It has been said that the Hero Games community is one of the best in the industry in terms of supporting each other and

helping the HERO System to grow. Never has this been made more clear to me than in the massive effort put forth by the entire community in

testing and helping to debug Hero Designer. Over the past several years, members of the Hero Games community have spent countless hours

testing and retesting Hero Designer, finding all of my mistakes, and making suggestions on ways to improve the application.

To all of the players that have helped make Hero Designer a reality: Thank you. This project would not have been possible without you.

From Steve: Hero Games would also like to thank: Dan, for all his hard work; and Rod, for preparing this manual. Thanks, guys!

DISCLAIMER

While the programmer has worked hard to make Hero Designer follow the HERO System 5th Edition and HERO System 6th Edition

rules, only the HERO System 5th Edition Revised and HERO System 6th Edition rulebook, the Rules FAQs and errata pages maintained on

the Hero Games website, and the rulings of the HERO System Line Developer are "official" explanations of the rules. As more gamers use

the HERO System in more ways, situations sometimes arise which have not previously been considered, and our general understanding and

interpretation of the rules grows and improves. In the event an official rules explanation differs from Hero Designer, the program will be

updated at the earliest convenience of Hero Games.

Hero Designer © 2002, 2003, 2006, 2009 by DOJ, Inc. d/b/a Hero Games. All rights reserved.

HERO System ® is DOJ, Inc.'s trademark for its roleplaying system.

HERO System Copyright © 1984, 1989, 2002, 2009 by DOJ, Inc. d/b/a Hero Games. All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying,

recording, or computerization, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Publisher: DOJ,

Inc., 226 E. 54th Street, #605, New York, NY 10022-48541


INTRODUCTION ...................................................................... 1

What’s New In Hero Designer 6 th Edition? .......................................... 1

Hero Designer Support ............................................................... 1

Hero System Fifth Edition Revised ............................................. 1

Standard Character Templates ................................................... 2

BASIC CONCEPTS ................................................................... 2

Character Templates ........................................................................... 2

Export Formats ................................................................................... 2

Configurable Preferences ................................................................... 2

Configurable Campaign Rules ............................................................. 2

Prefabs ................................................................................................ 2

Package Deals (Templates) ................................................................. 3

Hero Designer Math ............................................................................ 3

Rounding Calculations ..................................................................... 3

Formulae Versus Tables ................................................................... 3

Sharing Hero Designer Files ....................................................... 3

Hero Designer Character Packs .................................................. 4

Editable Fields .................................................................................... 4

Value Selector Boxes ....................................................................... 4

Editable Text Fields .......................................................................... 4

Pop-Up Boxes ..................................................................................... 4

Install Directory ................................................................................... 4

Updating Hero Designer ...................................................................... 4

USING HERO DESIGNER ......................................................... 5

Starting A Character............................................................................ 5

Total Points In Sixth Edition ........................................................ 6

Loading An Existing Character ......................................................... 6

Changing The Character Template ...................................................... 6

Exploring The Hero Designer Interface ............................................... 6

Basic Info Tab ................................................................................... 7

Cutting And Pasting From Other Applications ............................. 7

A Note About Entering Characteristics ....................................... 8

Background Tab ............................................................................... 8

Characteristics Tab ........................................................................... 8

Characteristic Maxima .................................................................. 8

Ability And Complications Tabs ........................................................ 9

Skills Tab ....................................................................................... 9

Perks Tab ....................................................................................... 9

Where Are Disadvantages? ......................................................... 9

Talents Tab .................................................................................. 10

Martial Arts Tab ........................................................................... 10

Powers Tab .................................................................................. 10

Complications Tab ....................................................................... 10

Equipment Tab ............................................................................. 10

Separating Tabs From Main Window ........................................... 10

Adding Abilities And Complications .................................................. 11

Adding An Item ............................................................................... 11

Deleting An Item ............................................................................. 11

Moving An Item .............................................................................. 11

Editing An Item ............................................................................... 11

Naming An Item.............................................................................. 11

Modifiers and Templates .......................................................... 12

Changing The Text Of An Item ........................................................ 12

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Attaching Adders And Modifiers ..................................................... 12

Ability-Specific Adders ................................................................ 12

Standard Modifiers ...................................................................... 12

Custom Modifiers ........................................................................ 13

Custom Adders ............................................................................ 13

Modifier Intelligence ................................................................. 13

Special Effects .......................................................................... 14

Copying, Cutting, And Pasting Modifiers ........................................ 14

Cost Multipliers .............................................................................. 14

Assigning Special Effects ............................................................... 14

Attaching Notes .............................................................................. 14

Associating Files ............................................................................ 14

Viewing An Ability’s Definition ........................................................ 15

Copying, Cutting, And Pasting ........................................................ 15

Unusual Everyman Skills .......................................................... 16

Sorting ........................................................................................... 16

Skills .............................................................................................. 16

Custom Skills .............................................................................. 17

Language Familiarity Chart ...................................................... 17

Perks .............................................................................................. 18

Custom Perks .............................................................................. 18

Talents ............................................................................................ 18

Custom Talents ............................................................................ 19

Martial Arts ..................................................................................... 19

Custom Maneuvers ..................................................................... 20

Powers ........................................................................................... 21

Characteristics From Powers ...................................................... 21

Characteristics As Powers ........................................................... 21

Buying SPD As A Power ............................................................ 21

Targeting And Nontargeting Senses ......................................... 22

Compound Powers ...................................................................... 22

Naked Advantages ....................................................................... 22

Custom Powers ........................................................................... 23

Disadvantages And Fifth Edition Templates .............................. 24

Complications ................................................................................ 24

Custom Complications ................................................................ 24

Equipment ...................................................................................... 24

Working With Lists And Frameworks ................................................ 25

Lists................................................................................................ 25

Creating A List ............................................................................. 25

Attaching Modifiers To Lists And Frameworks ......................... 25

Attaching Custom Adders To Lists And Frameworks ................ 26

Adding Items To A List ................................................................. 26

Removing Items From A List........................................................ 26

Deleting A List ............................................................................. 26

Separators ...................................................................................... 26

Elemental Controls ......................................................................... 26

Multipowers ................................................................................... 27

Variable Power Pools ..................................................................... 28

Skill And Perk Enhancers ............................................................... 29

Working With Multiple Characters .................................................... 29

Combat Records ............................................................................... 30

Exporting A Combat Record ........................................................... 30


Previewing A Combat Record ......................................................... 30

Saving A Character ........................................................................... 30

Closing A Character .......................................................................... 31

Previewing, Exporting, And Printing A Character .............................. 31

Setting The Export Format ............................................................. 31

Exporting And Printing A Character ................................................ 31

Previewing A Character .................................................................. 32

Printing To PDF ............................................................................... 32

CONFIGURING HERO DESIGNER ........................................... 33

Application Preferences .................................................................... 33

General Preferences ....................................................................... 33

System Preferences ....................................................................... 33

Display Preferences ....................................................................... 34

Modifier Intelligence Preferences .................................................. 35

Prefabs Settings ............................................................................. 35

Template Preferences .................................................................... 35

Hero Games Writers’ Guidelines ............................................... 35

Campaign Rules ................................................................................ 36

Point Limits Tab .............................................................................. 36

Characteristic Maxima Tab ............................................................. 37

Rules Tab ........................................................................................ 37

Settings Tab ................................................................................... 38

Saving Campaign Rules ................................................................. 39

Attaching Campaign Rules To A Character ..................................... 39

PREFABS AND PACKAGE DEALS ........................................... 40

Prefabs .............................................................................................. 40

Creating A Prefab ........................................................................... 40

Creating A Prefab From A Character ............................................ 41

Loading And Unloading Prefabs ..................................................... 41

Using Prefabs ................................................................................. 41

Editing A Prefab .............................................................................. 41

Package Deals .................................................................................. 42

Creating Package Deals ................................................................. 42

Applying Package Deals ................................................................. 42

Editing Package Deals ................................................................... 42

CHARACTER TEMPLATES ..................................................... 43

Saving A Character As A Template .................................................... 43

Creating A Template From Scratch ................................................. 43

Copies Of Standard Character Templates ................................. 43

Custom Templates From Previous Versions .............................. 44

The Hierarchical Structure of Character Templates ....................... 44

XML Basics ..................................................................................... 44

Structure Of A Character Template ................................................. 44

Common Attributes ...................................................................... 44

Common Subcontainers .............................................................. 45

Basic Info Fields ....................................................................... 46

Background Fields .................................................................... 46

TEMPLATE Container ................................................................... 46

Ability Containers ........................................................................ 46

MAINAPP Section ........................................................................ 46

CHARACTERISTICS Section .......................................................... 47

Available Characteristics .......................................................... 47

SKILLS Section ............................................................................ 48

SKILL_ENHANCERS Section ........................................................ 48

MARTIAL_ARTS Section ............................................................... 48

PERKS Section ............................................................................. 49

TALENTS Section ......................................................................... 49

POWERS Section ......................................................................... 49

MODIFIERS Section ..................................................................... 49

Built-In Template Names .......................................................... 50

DISADVANTAGES Section ............................................................. 50

Creating Extension Templates ........................................................ 50

EXPORT FORMATS ............................................................... 52

Creating An Export Format ................................................................ 52

Describing The Format ................................................................... 53

Replacement Containers ................................................................ 53

MATH Container ............................................................................. 53

Conditional Containers ................................................................... 53

Looping Containers ........................................................................ 53

Combat Record Export Formats ........................................................ 54

Available Tags And Containers .......................................................... 54

Basic Tags ...................................................................................... 54

Format Information Tags ............................................................. 54

Character Information Tags ......................................................... 54

Image Tags .................................................................................. 55

Point Total Tags............................................................................ 55

OCV, DCV, And ECV Tags ............................................................... 55

Equipment Tags ........................................................................... 55

Replacement Tags ....................................................................... 55

Math Tags .................................................................................... 55

Note Tags ..................................................................................... 55

Combat Record Tags.................................................................... 55

Movement Tags .............................................................................. 55

Running Tags ............................................................................... 55

Swimming Tags ........................................................................... 55

Leaping Tags ............................................................................... 56

Flight Tags ................................................................................... 56

Gliding Tags ................................................................................. 56

Swinging Tags ............................................................................. 56

Teleportation Tags ....................................................................... 56

Tunneling Tags ............................................................................. 56

Characteristic Tags ......................................................................... 56

General Characteristic Tags ......................................................... 56

Specific Characteristic Tags ........................................................ 56

Ability Tags ..................................................................................... 57

General Tags ................................................................................ 57

Combat Level Tags ...................................................................... 58

Lightning Reflexes ....................................................................... 58

Martial Art Tags ........................................................................... 58

Skill Tags ..................................................................................... 58

Perk Tags ..................................................................................... 58

Talent Tags .................................................................................. 59

Power Tags .................................................................................. 59

Equipment Tags ........................................................................... 59

Complication/Disadvantage Tags ................................................ 59


Hero Designer 6th Edition Introduction ■ 1

INTRODUCTION

Hero Designer is a full-featured character

design program for the HERO System Fifth

Edition and HERO System Sixth Edition.

With this program, you can create any type

of character, vehicle, base, automaton, computer, or

AI described in the HERO System Fifth Edition or

HERO System Sixth Edition rules.

Unlike other character design programs, Hero

Designer has been built from the ground up to help

guide users through the myriad calculations and

rules that go into creating a valid HERO System

character. Wherever possible, the rules that govern

how Hero Designer builds characters and abilities

can be configured and altered by the user. It is our

goal to provide a character design program that is

as flexible as the HERO System itself.

GMs, however, should still be on the lookout for

potentially abusive characters. Just because Hero

Designer permits a player to build a character, it

doesn’t mean that you have to accept the character

in your campaign. Hero Designer, in the interest

of flexibility, permits many options that normally

require GM’s permission and as usual, GMs should

make sure to approve all aspects of characters for

their campaigns.

Part of what makes Hero Designer unique is

that it is very much a community application,

drawing from the talents and designs of the Hero

Games community as a whole. The rules that the

application uses, the abilities that are available, and

the format of the final character sheets are all part of

an ongoing community effort. You can find an everincreasing

number of characters, custom templates,

Prefabs, Package Deals, and character sheet formats

in the Hero Designer section of the Hero Games

website (www.herogames.com)

Hero Games supports Hero Designer in many

ways. In addition to regular free upgrades to

improve the functionality and flexibility of the

program, we offer collections of characters, Package

Deals, and other elements from our books, and

anything else we can think of that we believe you’d

like to have. So, if there’s something new and

exciting you’d like to see for Hero Designer, please

drop us a line at info@herogames.com.

WHAT’S NEW IN HERO

DESIgNER 6 TH EDITION?

Since the release of the first version of Hero

Designer in December 2002, we have gained greater

insight into what HERO System players desire in a

character design program. And as that insight grew,

Hero Designer grew and change to reflect it.

With the release of the HERO System Sixth

Edition in August 2009, it was time for Hero

Designer to grow and change again. The result is

Hero Designer 6th Edition.

Not only is Hero Designer 6th Edition, like all

major revisions of Hero Designer, more efficient

and more robust, but it also features a number of

exciting new features:

■ Full support for creating characters using either

HERO System Fifth Edition or HERO System

Sixth Edition rules.

■ Improved Modifier assignment. You can now

copy Modifiers from one ability to another.

■ New display editing capability. You can now edit

the text displayed for an ability.

■ Improved Prefab handling. Prefabs are now

handled more efficiently.

■ New “print to PDF” functionality lets you

generate PDF character sheets that resemble

the blank character sheets provided in the

rulebooks.

■ New memory management option. You can now

increase the amount of memory available to

Hero Designer.

■ And more.

HERO DESIgNER

SUPPORT

Should you have problems

with Hero Designer 6th Edition, you can report

them in the Hero Designer

forum on the Hero Games

website. To connect to this

forum, select Go to Hero

Designer Forum… from

the Help menu or type

Alt-D. You can also e-mail

support@herodesigner.

com with your questions.

You can discuss Hero

Designer 6th Edition with

its creators and other users

in the Hero Designer

forum on the Hero Games

website (www.herogames.

com).

HERO SySTEM

FIFTH EDITION

REvISED

This manual refers at times

to the HERO System Fifth

Edition rulebook. These

references apply equally to

both the original HERO

System Fifth Edition

rulebook and the newer

HERO System Fifth Edition

Revised rulebook.


2 ■ Basic Concepts Hero Designer 6th Edition

STANDARD

CHARACTER

TEMPLATES

Hero Designer includes

the following standard

character templates for

use in creating both

HERO System Fifth Edition

and HERO System Sixth

Edition characters:

Heroic

■ Superheroic

■ Vehicle

■ Base

■ Automaton

■ Computer

■ Automaton

■ AI

In addition, Hero Designer

includes the following

template for HERO System

Fifth Edition:

■ Normal

To create Normal

characters for HERO

System Sixth Edition, use

the Heroic template.

BASIC CONCEPTS

This chapter introduces a number of the basic

concepts associated with Hero Designer.

Many of these concepts appear throughout

this manual and discussing them up front

will make it easier for you to understand them

when they show up later.

CHARACTER TEMPLATES

A character template is an XML (Extensible

Markup Language) file that defines a given type of

HERO System character. Each template specifies

Characteristics, abilities (Skills, Powers, Perks,

and so forth), Disadvantages, and Modifiers

(Advantages and Limitations) available to build that

character type along with their costs.

Because the character template also defines

exactly what options are available for abilities and

Modifiers as well as the relationships between

different abilities and Modifiers, you can change

how Hero Designer interprets the HERO System

rules by changing the template. The “Character

Templates” chapter on page 43 contains instructions

for modifying and expanding existing character

templates and creating new ones.

Character templates should not be confused with

Templates, the HERO System Sixth Edition name

for Package Deals. Because character templates

are such a central idea to Hero Designer, the game

element called Templates will continue to be called

Package Deals by this program.

ExPORT FORMATS

Hero Designer lets you export the characters you

create in a variety of formats for viewing, editing

or printing with a web browser, text editor, word

processor, or other such program. To do this, it uses

Export Formats.

Export Formats are files which contain special

fields that get replaced by information from your

character when you export that character. These

files could be HTML (for web browsers), plain text,

or more complex formats such as RTF (used by

many word processors including Microsoft Word).

Because the Export Format determines what

information is exported and where it is placed

in the exported file, this feature lets you create

character sheets with a wide variety of looks.

Hero Designer provides a variety of Export

Formats for both individual characters and multicharacter

combat records, including HTML Export

Format based on the standard HERO System Fifth

Edition character sheet among others.

Finally, Hero Designer lets you modify existing

Export Formats or create your own. The “Export

Formats” chapter on page 52 has instructions for

creating and editing Export Formats.

CONFIgURABLE

PREFERENCES

Hero Designer has many features you can

turn on and off from the Preferences dialog. The

Preferences dialog. To launch the Preferences

dialog, select Preferences from the File menu.

For a complete description of the Preferences

dialog and the features it controls, see the

“Application Preferences” section on page 33.

CONFIgURABLE

CAMPAIgN RULES

You can tailor Hero Designer to your individual

campaign by setting a variety of campaign-related

configurable limits and options. These options

can be saved and loaded as desired, allowing

you to create characters for a variety of different

campaigns.

For a complete description of campaign rules,

see the “Campaign Rules” section on page 36.

PREFABS

When creating HERO System characters, you

will often find there are certain pre-built Powers,

pieces of equipment, Skill lists, collections of

Martial Maneuvers, and so forth that you use over

and over again. To make reusing such items easier,

Hero Designer features a concept called Prefabs.


Hero Designer 6th Edition Basic Concepts ■ 3

Prefabs are files containing items that you want

to use on multiple characters. These files can be

loaded and unloaded as needed. When a Prefab is

loaded, you can copy any item from that Prefab to

the active character. Prefabs are particularly useful

for things like equipment lists, Martial Arts styles,

and lists of standard Complications (Disadvantages

in HERO System Fifth Edition).

The “Prefabs And Package Deals” chapter on

page 40 has full instructions for creating and using

Prefabs.

PACKAgE DEALS

(TEMPLATES)

Package Deals (renamed Templates in

HERO System Sixth Edition) are collections

of Characteristic modifications, abilities and

Complications (Disadvantages in HERO System

Fifth Edition) intended to be applied to characters

to represent such things as occupations, unique

cultures, and fantasy or alien races. While the

HERO System Sixth Edition rulebook renamed

Package Deals as Templates, Hero Designer will

continue to use the name Package Deal to refer to

such collections. This is to avoid confusion with

Character Templates which are a central concept of

Hero Designer.

To create Package Deal using Hero Designer,

create a character with the desired modifications,

abilities, and Disadvantages (or Complications) and

save it as a Package Deal. The saved Package Deal

can then be applied to any new or existing Hero

Designer character.

The “Prefabs And Package Deals” chapter on

page 40 has full instructions for creating and using

Prefabs.

HERO DESIgNER MATH

Hero Designer properly calculates the costs of

all game elements in the HERO System Fifth Edition

and HERO System Sixth Edition rulebooks. The

following sections offer greater insight into how

Hero Designer arrives at some of these values.

Rounding Calculations

Hero Designer uses the standard rounding rules

for the HERO System, though for programming

reasons sometimes displays them a bit unusually

during the process. Here’s a brief review of what’s

going on to help alleviate any confusion about the

costs the program shows for your character.

As stated in the HERO System Fifth Edition and

HERO System Sixth Edition rulebooks, rounding

occurs at every step of a calculation with values

rounded to the nearest whole number (values

ending in .5 are rounded in the character’s favor).

Note, however, that these rules only apply to

division and multiplication . When you buy an

ability that costs less than a full point, you must

round it up to a full point – you do not get to round

it down to zero because there is no division or

multiplication involved.

There are a few abilities in the HERO System that

have a .5 in their costs. These include a half die of

a 3 point Power (like Flash versus a nontargeting

Sense Group or Dispel), and in HERO System Fifth

Edition, a Penalty Skill Levels versus a specific

OCV modifier on a single attack, both of which

cost 1.5 points each. Hero Designer displays costs

involving such values as integers (rounded up to

next whole number, so a ½d6 Dispel is shown as

costing 2 points); however, behind the scenes, the

program properly keeps track of the fractional

values. Thus, if you buy both a ½d6 Dispel and a

½d6 Flash versus the Hearing Sense Group, Hero

Designer displays the cost of each as 2, but only

adds a total of 3 points (not 4) to the character’s

totals. If the subtotal for a tab on a character ends in

.5, that subtotal is rounded up when it is displayed;

however, the proper value is maintained internally

and used when calculating the character’s overall

point total. Finally, if the overall point total for

a character is not a whole number, the total is

rounded up to the next highest whole number (for

example, 212.5 is rounded up to 213).

Adding any Advantage or Limitation (even a

+0 or -0 one) causes a calculation to take place

and thus, the results are rounded down when

the fractional value is .5 or less and up when the

fractional value is greater than .5.

By default, Hero Designer calculates to one

decimal place before rounding. You can change

the number of decimal places used (for example,

the HERO System Fifth Edition rulebook and its

supplements calculate to two decimal places) on the

Preferences dialog as described in the “Application

Preferences” section on page 33.

Example: Joe buys a 6½d6 Dispel with the Affects

Desolidified Advantage (+1/2) and the Inobvious

Inaccessible Focus Limitation (-1/4). The Base

Cost of the Power is 19.5 points (displayed as 20

points by Hero Designer). Adding the Advantage

makes the Active Cost 29 points (19.5 x (1 +

.5) = 29.25 rounded down to 29). Applying the

Limitation brings the Real Cost of the Power down

to 23 points (29 / (1 + .25) = 23.2 rounded down

to 23).

This same Power without the Advantage but

with the Limitation would have a Real Cost of 16

points (19.5 / (1 + .25)=15.6 rounded up to 16).

Formulae versus Tables

Several tables in the HERO System Fifth Edition

and HERO System Sixth Edition rulebooks use

simplified math to keep the numbers easy to use

and remember. For example, the Vehicle Size Table

on page 187 of Volume 2 of the HERO System Sixth

Edition rulebook correctly shows the length and

width of the vehicle doubling every three levels, but

uses simplified values for the intervening levels and

SHARINg HERO

DESIgNER FILES

The Hero Designer section

of the Hero Games website

(www,herogames.com)

has an area called the

Vault set aside for Hero

Designer users to share

characters, character

templates, Package Deals,

and Prefabs.

To access these shared

resources in the Vault,

select the appropriate

action from the Tools

menu or type the keyboard

equivalent. This launches

your default web browser

and loads the web page

from which you can

download Hero Designer

files of the selected type.

Note, however, that for this

feature to work correctly

you must be connected to

the Internet and logged

into the Hero Games

website with the login ID

used to purchase Hero

Designer. In addition,

some firewalls may prevent

them from working

properly.

To add your own Hero

Designer files to the Vault,

go to the appropriate

section of the Hero

Designer Vault on the

Hero Games web site and

select the Upload option

for that section.


4 ■ Basic Concepts Hero Designer 6th Edition

HERO DESIgNER

CHARACTER PACKS

You can purchase Hero

Designer Character Packs

for various HERO System

books through the Hero

Games online store. These

Character Packs include

Hero Designer character,

Prefab, and Package

Deal files for characters,

equipment, and templates

(package deals) described

in one or more books.

Once you have purchased

a Character Pack, you can

download the compressed

(zipped) file containing

the various Hero Designer

files for that pack.

To use a Hero Designer

Character Pack, extract the

Hero Designer files from

the compressed (zipped)

file to a location on your

system. Within Hero

Designer, you can then

navigate to that location in

the file selector when you

are loading a character,

Prefab, or Package Deal

from that Pack.

area (length x width). Hero Designer, on the other

hand, uses more precise values based on formulae

for these and other fields. This is not only easier

for the program to handle, but also allows a greater

degree of customization. Thus, if Hero Designer is

showing you a different value for such an item than

what it is shown in the rulebook, this is the reason.

EDITABLE FIELDS

Two types of editable fields are used throughout

the Hero Designer interface: value selector boxes

and editable text fields.

value Selector Boxes

A value selector box consists of a box with a

number in it with a < and > on either side. Clicking

< decreases the value in the box while clicking >

increases the value in the box. You can also edit the

number in the box directly.

Editable Text Fields

Throughout the Hero Designer interface,

there are numerous text fields that are completely

editable. This includes the Display field for most

abilities, the descriptive text for Adders and

Modifiers, and almost all fields on Complication

(or Disadvantage) dialogs. Note, however, that costs

associated with such text fields are not editable.

Example: Suppose you are purchasing Change

Environment with the -1 Characteristic Roll and

all Skill Rolls based on Characteristic combat

effect and want it to apply to DEX Rolls and

DEX-based Skill Rolls. Because the combat effect

description is an editable text field, you can edit

that field to read “-1 DEX Roll and all Skill Rolls

based on DEX”.

POP-UP BOxES

Hero Designer uses pop-up boxes for two

purposes: warnings and definitions.

Warnings boxes appear when you have done

something that is illegal or not recommended

according to the HERO System Fifth Edition or

HERO System Sixth Edition rules. The box explains

the problem and may describe an action taken by

the program to correct it. The box also contains a

checkbox labeled Do not show this again. Checking

the box dismisses the box and prevents that

particular warning from showing up again during

the current session of the program, although the

warning will show up again the next time you run

Hero Designer. Clicking elsewhere on the warning

simply dismisses the box.

The exact situations which trigger a warning

can vary, depending on the current application

preferences and campaign rules. For details, see the

“Application Preferences” section on page 33 and the

“Campaign Rules” section on page 36.

Definition boxes appear when you have asked

for a definition of an item and contain a description

of the item in question. Clicking anywhere on the

box dismisses it.

INSTALL DIRECTORy

This manual occasionally refers to the Hero

Designer install directory. This is the directory in

which you originally installed the Hero Designer

software. On Windows systems, if you do not

change the default directory given by the installer,

this is normally C:/Program Files/Hero Designer.

If you chose to install Hero Designer in a

different directory, that directory is the install

directory.

UPDATINg HERO

DESIgNER

From time to time, updates to Hero Designer

become available. These updates provide bug fixes,

correct interpretations of HERO System rules, or

add new features.

To ensure that you are running the most recent

version, connect to the Internet and select Get

Application Updates… from the Tools menu. Hero

Designer launches your default web browser to

connect to the Hero Designer section of the Hero

Games website (www.herogames.com) where you

can download the update. You must be connected

to the Internet and logged into the Hero Games

website with the login used to purchase Hero

Designer. Some firewalls may prevent this feature

from working.

Normally, updates to Hero Designer 6th

Edition take the form of a file with a .jar extension.

Download this file and save it in the Hero Designer

install directory (as described in the “Install

Directory” section on page 4). When downloading

this file on Windows, you should be careful. Some

Windows systems (particular those with WinZip

installed) want to interpret the file as a compressed

(zipped) folder and save it with a .zip extension. To

avoid this, select All Files from the dropdown list

in the Save as type field of the file selector when

saving the download.

To view the changes that have been made in all

updates to Hero Designer 6th Edition, go to the

Updates page of the Hero Designer area of the Hero

Games website.


Hero Designer 6th Edition

Using Hero Designer ■ 5

USINg HERO

DESIgNER

This chapter discusses how to use Hero

Designer to create characters (including

vehicles, bases, automatons, computers, and

AIs) for the HERO System Fifth Edition or

HERO System Sixth Edition. It provides an overview

of the Hero Designer interface as well as detailed

instructions on adding, deleting, and editing

Skills, Talents, Powers, and other abilities. It also

shows you how to export the finished character for

printing, viewing, or displaying on the web.

STARTINg A CHARACTER

Normally, when you start Hero Designer,

an empty version of the main window appears.

However, if any characters were still open when

you last exited the program, the last saved versions

of those characters are automatically loaded. (This

behavior can be changed in the Preferences dialog

as described in the “Application Preferences”

section on page 33.)

Creating A New Character

To create a new character, select New Character

from the File menu. A sub-menu appears with four

choices: New Character (current template), New

Character (Hero System 5th Edition Rules), New

Character (Hero System 6th Edition Rules), and

New Character (Custom /Non-Standard Rules).

Selecting New Character (current template)

displays a blank character form based on the last

template used during this session of Hero Designer.

If no template has been used during current Hero

Designer session the new character is based on

the Superheroic template. Typing Ctrl-N is the

equivalent of selecting New Character > New

Character (current template).

Selecting New Character (Hero System 6th

Edition Rules) or New Character (Hero System

5th Edition Rules) displays a sub-menu showing

the available templates (as described in the

“Standard Character Templates” sidebar on page 2).

From this sub-menu, you can select the template

you want to use for the new character. Once you do

so, the appropriate blank character form appears.

Finally, selecting New Character (Custom/

Non-Standard Rules) displays a sub-menu with

one item: Choose File…. Selecting that item

displays the Create Character From Template file

selector. Select the character template you want to

use and click Create Character. See the “Character

Templates” chapter on page 43 for details on creating

a template.

Once you have begun work on a new character,

you can change the template as described in the

“Changing the Character Template” on page 6.

Additionally, the last set of campaign rules used

(in any Hero Designer session) is assigned to the

character. For details on creating and assigning

campaign rules, see the “Campaign Rules” section

on page 36.


6 ■ Using Hero Designer Hero Designer 6th Edition

TOTAL POINTS IN

SIxTH EDITION

HERO System Sixth

Edition changed the way

that the total Character

Points available for a

character are expressed.

HERO System Fifth Edition

expressed a character’s

available points as Base

Points + Maximum

Disadvantage Points. Thus,

a 350 point superhero

would be expressed as

being built on 200 + 150.

HERO System Sixth

Edition expresses available

character points as Total

Points with a maximum

number of points in

Matching Complications.

So, a 400 point superhero

is expressed as 400 Total

Points with a maximum

of 75 points in Matching

Complications.

For HERO System Fifth

Edition templates, the

Basic Info tab has Base

Points and Max. Disad.

Points fields.

For HERO System Sixth

Edition templates, the

Basic Info tab has

instead Points and Max.

Complication Points

fields in which you enter

the Total Points and

the maximum number

of points in Matching

Complications.

Note, however, that

Hero Designer makes no

adjustments in the Points

value (that is, the Total

Points available to the

character) based on the

actual points in Matching

Complications. Therefore,

if you are building a

character that uses fewer

than the maximum

number of Complication

Points available, you

must manually lower the

value of the Points field

on the Basic Info tab

by the amount that you

are under the maximum

Complication Points. For

example, if you only use

50 points of a maximum

75 points in Matching

Complications, you would

lower the value of the

Points field by 25 points.

Loading An Existing

Character

To load a previously saved Hero Designer

character, select Open Character… from the File

menu or type Ctrl-O. A standard file selector dialog

appears. Select the file containing the character you

want to load and click Open Character to load that

file as well as the associated character template and

campaign rules.

You can also load a character that has been

recently worked on by selecting Open Recent from

the File menu which displays a sub-menu showing

the most recently worked on files. Select the file

containing the character you want to use to load

that file and the associated character template and

campaign rules.

Normally, when you load a character, all

Modifiers attached to that character’s abilities are

checked to see if they are valid based on Modifier

Intelligence (see the “Modifier Intelligence” sidebar

on page 13). You are warned of any invalid Modifiers

and the offending abilities are displayed in red on

the appropriate tab. You can change this behavior

from the Preferences dialog as described in the

“Application Preferences” section on page 33.

CHANgINg THE

CHARACTER TEMPLATE

When a character is active, its associated

template is loaded into memory. That template

remains loaded until either you change the template

associated with the active character or a character

built on another template is loaded. The currently

loaded template is shown on the status line at the

bottom of the Hero Designer window.

To change the template associated with the

current active character, select Change Current

Template from the Current Character menu. This

normally displays a sub-menu with three items:

Hero System 6th Edition Rules, Hero System 5th

Edition Rules, and Custom/Non-Standard Rules.

Selecting Hero System 6th Edition Rules

or Hero System 5th Edition Rules displays a

sub-menu showing the available Hero Designer

template. From this sub-menu, you can select

the new template to be assigned to the current

character.

Selecting Custom/Non-Standard Rules

displays a sub-menu with one item: Choose File….

Selecting that item displays the Load Template file

selector. Select the character template you want to

use and click Load Template. See the “Character

Templates” chapter on page 43 for details on creating

a template.

Once the template has been changed for a

character, a third item is added to the sub-menu:

Revert to Original Template. As the name

implies, selecting this item changes the template

for the current character to the one with which the

character was last saved (or the one with which the

character was created in the case of a character that

has not yet been saved).

ExPLORINg THE HERO

DESIgNER INTERFACE

When you have one or more characters active,

the main Hero Designer window displays a series

of tabs. Each tab represents a different section of a

typical HERO System character sheet and lets you

enter and change information about that aspect

of the character. Precisely which tabs are available

depends upon the current character template

and the current campaign rules. The standard AI,

Automation, Base, Computer, and Vehicle templates

disable the Background tab while the Equipment

tab is only available for the Normal (only for Fifth

Edition characters) and Heroic templates unless

enabled by the current campaign rules (see the

“Campaign Rules” section on page 36).


Hero Designer 6th Edition Using Hero Designer ■ 7

This manual primarily discusses the Sixth

Edition Superheroic template, but working with any

of the standard templates is similar.

Basic Info Tab

The Basic Info tab (shown on page 6) consists

of two sections. On the right side of the tab is the

Basic Configuration section. On the left side is the

Character Information section.

The Basic Configuration section consists of

seven fields that describe the number of Character

Points available and spent for the active character.

The Points field is a value selector box specifying

the total number of points available for building

the character. The current campaign rules set the

default value for this field. For HERO System Fifth

Edition templates, this field is called Base Points

and specifies the base number of points (before

Disadvantages) available for building the character.

The Max. Complication Points field is a value

selector box specifying the maximum number of

points in Matching Complications the character

can take. The current campaign rules set the default

value for this field. For HERO System Fifth Edition

characters, this field is called Max. Disad. Points.

The Complications Points Used field displays

the number of Complication Points currently taken

on the Complications tab. If this value exceeds the

value in the Max. Complication Points field, it is

displayed in red. For HERO System Fifth Edition

characters, this field is called Disad. Points Used

and it tracks Disadvantage Points in the same way.

The Experience Earned field is a value selector

box for setting the number of Experience Points the

character has earned.

The Experience Spent field shows how many

Experience Points have been spent. This is the

points spent on abilities in excess of the value of the

Points field (or for HERO System Fifth Edition, the

total of the values in the Base Points, and Disad

Points Used fields). If this value is greater than the

value of the Experience Earned field, it is displayed

in red.

The Unspent Experience field shows how

many Experience Points have been earned by the

character but not yet spent.

The Total Points field shows how many points

have been spent on abilities for the character.

The Character Information section consists of

several fields that provide information about the

character and the campaign it is being played in.

These fields are Character Name, Alternate IDs,

Campaign Name, Genre, Player Name, and GM.

Once you enter a name in the Character Name

field, that name appears in the title bar of the Hero

Designer window and in the status line at the

bottom of that window. It also appears in the Open

CUTTINg

AND PASTINg

FROM OTHER

APPLICATIONS

With most operating

systems on which Hero

Designer runs, you can use

various shortcut keys to

cut or copy text from other

applications and paste it in

Hero Designer text fields.

■ Ctrl-C copies selected

text to the system

clipboard.

■ Ctrl-V pastes text from

the system clipboard at

the current insertion

point for text.

■ Ctrl-X cuts selected

text and places it on the

system clipboard.

For example, suppose you

are entering a character

into Hero Designer

whose background is in

a Microsoft Word file. To

copy that background to

the Background/History

field of Hero Designer’s

Background tab, first

select the text in Word that

you want to copy and type

Ctrl-C. Next, switch to

Hero Designer. Place the

cursor in the Background/

History field of the

Background tab and type

Ctrl-V.


8 ■ Using Hero Designer Hero Designer 6th Edition

A NOTE ABOUT

ENTERINg

CHARACTERISTICS

When a Characteristic’s

value changes, Hero

Designer automatically

updates all other values

based on it (such as Rolls,

entries in the Notes

column, and for HERO

System Fifth Edition

templates, Figured

Characteristics). It also

checks for illegal values

(such as selling back

more than one Figured

Characteristic). This can

occasionally cause minor

problems.

For example, suppose you

have already sold back the

character’s STUN and you

want to change the PD

from its current value of

6 to 10. If you attempt to

do this by deleting the 6

from the value selector box

for PD and typing the 10

in directly, as soon as you

type the 1, Hero Designer

updates all values and

performs the appropriate

checks. Because the

program thinks you have

entered a 1 as the new PD

and therefore, have sold

back a second Figured

Characteristic, it issues

the appropriate error and

restores the value to 6. In

such a case, you can then

either change the PD using

< and > or by typing the 10

in front of the 6 and then

deleting the 6.

Files menu. Some templates label the Character

Name and Alternate IDs fields differently. For

example, the Vehicle template, labels them as

Vehicle Name and Vehicle Model.

Also in the Character Information section is

the Image field which lets you add an image to the

character. To do so, click the Click to assign button.

A standard file selector dialog appears. Select the

file containing the image and click Set Image. The

image must be in JPG, GIF, or PNG format. To

remove an image assigned to the Image field, click

the Clear Image… button beneath the image. To

change an image, click on it and use the file selector

dialog to choose the new image.

Background Tab

The Background tab (shown on the previous

page) contains a number of fields relating to the

appearance and background of the character. The

exact fields that are available will depend upon the

character template currently in use. Fill in these

fields as desired to describe the character and his

background.

The standard AI, Automation, Base, Computer,

and Vehicle templates disable this tab.

Characteristics Tab

The Characteristics tab lets you set the basic

values for all Characteristics available in the

current template as well as values for Running,

Swimming, and Leaping (if appropriate) which for

purposes of this discussion all will be considered

Characteristics. For each available Characteristic,

there are seven columns.

The Value column has a value selector box

used to set the value for the current Characteristic.

This is the basic value of the Characteristic. If

you want to attach any Limitations or Advantages

to all or part of the Characteristic’s value, you

should buy that part of the value as a Power (see

“Characteristics as Powers” on page 21). You can

move from one Characteristic to the next with the

Tab key. The Char column displays the name of the

Characteristic.

The Base column displays the starting value for

the Characteristic. For HERO System Sixth Edition

characters, the character template specifies these

starting values. For HERO System Fifth Edition

characters, the character template supplies the

starting values for Primary Characteristics while

the starting values for Figured Characteristics

are calculated from the appropriate Primary

Characteristics.

The Cost column displays the cost in Character

Points for the current value of the Characteristic.

The Total column shows the total value of the

Characteristic. This is the value from the Value

column plus any Characteristics from Powers

(including Characteristics bought as Powers).

Because Characteristics from Powers can be bought

as affecting primary values, affecting secondary

values, or not affecting totals, the Total column

might contain a split value (for example, 13/23).

In such cases, the value to the left of the / is the

primary value (the total of the Value column plus

any Characteristics from Powers bought as affecting

the primary value). The value to the right of the

/ is the secondary value (the total of the primary

value plus any Characteristics from Powers bought

as affecting the secondary value). For example, a

character with a basic STR of 10 and a STR of 20 in

his superheroic form (bought as a Power with the

Only in Alternate Identity Limitation and affecting

the secondary value) would have 10/20 in the Total

column.

The Roll column shows the Characteristic Roll

associated with that Characteristic (if any).

The Notes column shows other information

related to the Characteristic. For example, the Notes

entry for INT displays the character’s PER Roll.

Finally, the bottom line on the tab shows

the total number of Character Points spent on

Characteristics with the total points spent on the

character after it in parentheses.

CHARACTERISTIC MAxIMA

For HERO System Fifth Edition templates,

the Characteristics tab also contains a checkbox

labeled Normal Characteristic Maxima and a

dropdown list with options for age restrictions.

These appear beneath the Characteristic list but

above the total line.

The availability of the Normal Characteristic

Maxima checkbox and its effect on the character


Hero Designer 6th Edition Using Hero Designer ■ 9

depends upon the current template and campaign

rules.

When using the standard Fifth Edition Normal

or Heroic templates, checking the Normal

Characteristic Maxima box adds a 0 point

Normal Characteristic Maxima Disadvantage to

the Disadvantages tab. If you also select an age

restriction, the appropriate Age Disadvantage is

added as well.

When using the standard Fifth Edition

Superheroic template, checking the Normal

Characteristic Maxima box adds a basic 20 point

Normal Characteristic Maxima Disadvantage to

the Disadvantages tab. If you also select an age

restriction, an appropriate Age Disadvantage is

added as well.

The campaign rules described in the “Campaign

Rules” section on page 36 can specify whether or not

the Normal Characteristic Maxima checkbox is

automatically checked on Fifth Edition templates

and whether or not the user can change this

selection.

The Normal Characteristic Maxima checkbox

is never available (and cannot be made available by

the campaign rules) with Fifth Edition Vehicle, Base,

Automaton, Computer, or AI templates.

HERO System Sixth Edition has implements

characteristic maxima differently. There is

no Normal Characteristic Maxima or Age

Complication. Instead, GMs, who want to use

Character Maxima for their campaigns, should

select an appropriate set of maxima for each

campaign. Hero Designer 6th Edition supports this

approach by allowing you to specify these Character

Maxima in the campaign rules. See the “Campaign

Rules” section on page 36 for details.

Ability And Complications

Tabs

The ability and Complications tabs let you add

abilities and Complications to a character. These

tabs all have a layout similar to the Powers tab

shown in the screenshot on the next page.

On the left side is the character sheet pane. This

pane shows the items purchased for the character in

roughly the same format as they will appear when

you export the character. At the top of this pane is

the character sheet title bar. This title bar contains

the name of the tab followed by the number of

Character Points spent on this tab with the total

points spent on the character and the maximum

points available in parentheses after it.

Beneath the pane’s toolbar is the character sheet

menu bar. This menu bar features the Edit, List,

and Sorting menus as well as tab-specific menus

such as the Power Frameworks menu shown in the

screenshot.

On the right side is the available item pane.

This pane displays the items that can be currently

added to the character. It has two subtabs. One

shares the name of the overall tab (for example,

Powers for the Powers tab) and the other is the

Prefabs subtab. The first subtab displays the items

defined in the current character template (along

with symbols similar to those used in the HERO

System Fifth Edition and HERO System Sixth Edition

rulebooks to indicate the item’s potential for abuse).

The second subtab displays the items defined in any

currently loaded Prefabs.

At bottom of the available item pane are the

Select and Define buttons. The Select button selects

the currently highlighted item for purchase and

brings up the appropriate dialog while the Define

button shows the definition of the highlighted item.

To select a given tab, click the tab name or type

Alt-1 to select the first tab, Alt-2 to select the second

tab, and so forth.

The following sections describe each of the tabs

and their tab-specific features.

SKILLS TAB

From the Skills tab, you can purchase Skills

(except Martial Arts, which has its own tab). The

character sheet menu bar for this tab contains a

Skill Enhancers menu in addition to the standard

Edit, List, and Sorting menus.

PERKS TAB

From the Perks tab, you can purchase Perks.

The character sheet menu bar for this tab contains

a Perk Enhancers menu in addition to the standard

Edit, List, and Sorting menus. Technically, there

is no such thing as a Perk Enhancer in the HERO

System rules, but because the Well-Connected Skill

Enhancer actually affects the cost of Perks rather

than Skills, it is listed on this menu.

WHERE ARE

DISADvANTAgES?

As you may or may

not know, Hero System

Sixth Edition replaced

Disadvantages with

Complications in an effort

to better describe their

purpose in the game.

However, the process

of adding and editing

Complications is exactly

the same as adding and

editing Disadvantages.

This manual simply refer

to Complications and

the Complications tab.

Unless otherwise, noted,

this information applies

equally to Disadvantages

and the Disadvantages

tab in HERO System Fifth

Edition templates.


10 ■ Using Hero Designer Hero Designer 6th Edition

TALENTS TAB

From the Talents tab, you can purchase Talents.

The character sheet menu bar for this tab contains

only the standard Edit, List, and Sorting menus.

MARTIAL ARTS TAB

From the Martial Arts tab, you can purchase

Martial Maneuvers, including Weapon Elements

and extra Damage Classes. The character sheet

menu bar for this tab contains only the standard

Edit, List, and Sorting menus.

POWERS TAB

From the Powers tab, you can purchase Powers

including Characteristics, Skills, Perks, and Talents

bought as Powers. As shown in the screen shot

below, the character sheet menu bar for this tab

contains the Power Frameworks menu in addition

to the standard Edit, List, and Sorting menus.

COMPLICATIONS TAB

From the Complications tab, you can assign

Complications to the character. The character sheet

menu bar for this tab contains only the standard

Edit, List, and Sorting menus.

For HERO System Fifth Edition templates, this

is called the Disadvantages tab and is used to assign

Disadvantages to the character.

EqUIPMENT TAB

The Equipment tab only appears when it is

enabled by the current campaign rules, as described

in the “Campaign Rules” section on page 36.

When available, you can use this tab for

assigning equipment that does not cost Character

Points. In general, the Equipment tab is identical

to the Powers tab. However, when you purchase

items on the Equipment tab, the point cost of those

items is not included in the character’s totals and

you have the ability to specify equipment-specific

information about each, such as price and weight.

Superheroic characters who must pay points for

their equipment purchase it on the Powers tab.

SEPARATINg TABS FROM MAIN WINDOW

At times, you may find it useful to be able to

view more than one Hero Designer tab at a time.

You can do this by tearing off (that is, separating)

tabs from the main window.

To separate a tab, first select desired tab and then

select Tear Off Selected Tab from the Tools menu.

The selected tab is removed from the main Hero

Designer window and appears as a separate window

that can be moved and resized on its own. To return

the tab to the main Hero Designer window, simply

close the window containing the separated tab.


Hero Designer 6th Edition Using Hero Designer ■ 11

ADDINg ABILITIES AND

COMPLICATIONS

At the core of the HERO System is the way you

can add abilities (Skills, Perks, Talents, Martial

Maneuvers, and Powers) to a character and balance

those abilities with Complications. In addition,

you can customize these abilities with Adders and

Modifiers to create specific effects.

For details on adding Lists and Frameworks, see

the “Working With Lists And Frameworks” section

on page 25.

Regardless of the ability or Complication with

which you are working, the basic procedure for

adding, deleting, or moving it is the same.

Adding An Item

To add an item to the character, you should first

set where on the character sheet pane you want

the item to appear. Where the new item appears

depends primarily on whether or not an entry on

that pane is currently highlighted. Clicking once

on an item toggles it between highlighted and not

highlighted.

If an item on the character sheet pane is

highlighted, the new item is inserted either before

or after the highlighted item depending on whether

the Insert button is currently set to Insert Before

or Insert After. Clicking the Insert button toggles it

between the two values.

If no item on the character sheet pane is

highlighted, the new item is inserted either at the

top or end of the character sheet pane depending on

whether the Insert button is currently set to Insert

At Top or Insert At End. Clicking the Insert button

toggles it between the two values.

Then, to add an item, select the item from the

available item list shown in the right pane. You

can do this either by double clicking on the item

or by highlighting the item and clicking Select or

pressing Enter.

The dialog for the selected item appears. Fill

in the dialog as appropriate (see the “Attaching

Adders And Modifiers” section on page 12 as well as

the section on the type of ability or Complication

being added) and click OK. A new item including

all values and options specified in the dialog and

all attached Adders and Modifiers appears on the

character sheet pane in the desired location.

You can also add an item to the character sheet

by right-clicking on the item in the available item

list. When you add an item in this way, no dialog

appears and the item is added at its default value.

When adding an item to the character sheet

pane, a Duplicate Purchase dialog may appear

if you already added that item to the character,

asking if you want to purchase the item again.

Click Yes to add the item again. Click No to not

add the item. The Duplicate Purchase dialog

appears for multiple purchases of virtually all Skills,

Perks, Talents, and Martial Maneuvers. It also

appears for multiple purchases of Powers that are

generally only purchased once for a given character.

It does not appear at all for duplicate purchases

of Complications. Whether or not this warning

appears can be set on the Preferences dialog as

described in the “Application Preferences” section

on page 33.

Deleting An Item

To delete an item from the character sheet pane,

highlight the item and either click the Delete button

or press the Delete key. You can also delete an item

by editing it (see “Editing An Item” below) and

clicking the Delete button on the item’s dialog box.

Finally, you can simply right-click on the item and

select Delete from the pop-up menu that appears.

Whichever method you choose, a prompt

appears asking you to confirm the deletion. Click

Yes to delete the item. Click No to change your

mind and not delete it. You can turn off the need for

confirming deletions on the Preferences dialog as

described in the “Application Preferences” section

on page 33.

Moving An Item

You can rearrange the order of items on the

character sheet pane by moving items up or down.

To move an item, highlight it and click either the

Down-Arrow button or the Up-Arrow button. As

you might expect, the Down-Arrow button moves

the item down the pane and the Up-Arrow button

moves the item up the pane.

As an alternative, you can move an item up or

down the character sheet pane by right-clicking

on the item and selecting either Move Up or Move

Down from the pop-up menu that appears.

You can also rearrange items using the

techniques described in the “Copying, Cutting, and

Pasting” section on page 15 or by sorting as described

on page 16.

Editing An Item

After adding an item to the character sheet pane,

you may decide there is something that you want

to change about it. You can edit such an item by

double clicking on the item’s Cost or END, by rightclicking

on the item and selecting Edit from the

pop-up menu that appears, or by highlighting the

item and clicking Edit or pressing Enter.

The dialog for the item to be edited appears.

Make your changes and click OK. The character

sheet pane is updated to show the edited item.

Naming An Item

Dialogs for all items (except Complications)

include a Name field. This field is the name by

which the fully constructed item is known. For


12 ■ Using Hero Designer Hero Designer 6th Edition

MODIFIERS AND

TEMPLATES

The actual lists of

Modifiers shown in the

Select Modifiers dialog

depend are limited to the

Modifiers defined in the

current character template.

Not all templates define all

Modifiers. For example,

the STR Minimum

Limitation is not available

in the Superheroic

template because it is

inappropriate for the

superhero genre.

example, if Captain Righteous’ Telekinesis is known

as the “Hand of Righteousness” you would enter

that in the Name field of the Telekinesis dialog.

This name appears in italics at the beginning of the

item’s entry on the character sheet pane.

Changing The Text Of An Item

When you add an item, the descriptive text

for that item appears in the second column of

the character sheet pane. This column is labeled

appropriately with the type of ability displayed

on the tab. For example, it is labeled Power on

the Powers tab and Skill on the Skills tab. This

descriptive text is editable.

To edit an item’s descriptive text, double-click

on that text. You can now edit it. When you are

finished editing, press Enter. The edited text is now

displayed in blue and will not change regardless of

any changes you make to the ability or its Modifiers.

At any point, you can reset the descriptive text to

the item’s normal display by deleting all the edited

descriptive text and pressing Enter.

Attaching Adders And

Modifiers

You can customize any ability by attaching

Adders and Modifiers. There are four types of

Adders and Modifiers: ability-specific Adders,

standard Modifiers (that is, Advantages and

Limitations), Custom Modifiers, and Custom

Adders. Regardless of type, you attach all Adders

and Modifiers using the ability’s dialog. Each

ability’s dialog has a large text area that displays

available ability-specific Adders as well as any other

Adders and Modifiers you have attached.

Some Adders and Modifiers have value selector

boxes or dropdown lists that you can use to set

details of the Adder or Modifier. Also, remember

you can edit the text of an Adder or Modifier to

appear however you would like on the character

sheet pane.

In addition, if an Adder or Modifier has a blue

question mark near their cost, clicking on the

question mark brings up a definition for the Adder

or Modifier.

As you attach, edit, and remove Adders and

Modifiers, Hero Designer automatically adjusts the

Real and Active Cost displayed for the ability.

Additionally, when you attach a Modifier to an

ability, a Display Active Points checkbox is added

to the ability’s dialog. Checking this box includes

the Active Points in an ability in that’s ability’s

display on the character sheet pane.

For details on using Adders and Modifiers with

Lists and Frameworks, see the “Working With Lists

And Frameworks” section on page 25.

ABILITy-SPECIFIC ADDERS

Several abilities have Adders that are specific to

that ability. Entries for these Adders always appear

on the ability’s dialog. To attach one of these Adders

to the ability, check the box next to it. To remove an

Adder, uncheck its box.

STANDARD MODIFIERS

Standard Modifiers include Advantages and

Limitations that you can attach to almost any

ability. To add a standard Modifier, click the Add

Modifier… button. The Select Modifiers dialog

appears.

This dialog features five selectable lists:

Advantages, Limitations, Recently Selected,

Unavailable Advantages, and Unavailable

Limitations. The Advantages and Limitations

lists display the current available (see the “Modifier

Intelligence” sidebar on page 13) Modifiers of

those types. The Recently Selected list displays,

in alphabetical order, up to the last 40 Modifiers

(including the details you specified for each)

you have assigned to abilities. This makes it easy

to assign exactly the same Modifier to multiple

abilities across multiple characters. The Recently

Selected list is preserved when you exit Hero

Designer. Finally, the Unavailable Advantages

and Unavailable Limitations lists display those

Advantages and Limitations that are currently

unavailable due to Modifier intelligence. While you

cannot add these Modifiers to the current ability,

you can see why a given Modifier is unavailable by

either or double-clicking on it or by highlighting it

and clicking the View Reason button.


Hero Designer 6th Edition Using Hero Designer ■ 13

If you have turned off Modifier intelligence

in the Preferences dialog as described in the

“Application Preferences” section on page 33,

the Unavailable Advantages and Unavailable

Limitations lists are renamed Non-Recommended

Advantages and Non-Recommended Limitations

and the Modifiers in these lists are available to

attach to the ability.

To add a Modifier from any list, either double

click on the Modifier or highlight it and click Select.

Once selected, a dialog for the Modifier appears.

A Modifier dialog sometimes includes Adders

and multipliers of its own. These Adders and

multipliers adjust the Modifier’s value. For example,

a +½ Adder adds +½ to the Modifier’s value, while a

x2 multiplier doubles that value.

The Comments field lets you enter text to

appear in parentheses with the Modifier value on

the character sheet. Fill out the dialog and click OK.

The Modifier appears at the bottom of the Modifier

list for the ability with a checked box next to it and

the word Edit in blue near its cost.

After adding a Modifier, you are returned to

the Select Modifiers dialog so you can add more

Modifiers. When you are finished adding Modifiers

to an ability, click Done.

To edit a Modifier, click on the word Edit.

To remove a Modifier, uncheck the box next to

it. The next time you edit the item on the character

sheet pane, the Modifier will not be listed.

CUSTOM MODIFIERS

Custom Modifiers let you add Advantages or

Limitations that are not defined in the current

character template.

To add a Custom Modifier, click the Add

Modifier button and when the Select Modifiers

dialog appears, click the Custom Modifier button.

The Custom Modifier dialog appears.

Edit the text “Custom Modifier” in the Display

field to the name you want the Advantage or

Limitation to have and set the value of the Modifier

using the value selector box

in the Value field.

Negative values are

Limitations; positive

values are Advantages.

Additionally, you can enter

text in the Comments

field. This text will appear

in parentheses with the

Modifier value on the

character sheet pane. Click

OK to add the Modifier to

the current ability and you

are returned to the Select

Modifiers dialog so you can

add more Modifiers.

Custom Modifiers may

be edited and removed

in the same manner as

Standard Modifiers.

You can use Custom Modifiers to add new

Advantages or Limitations from house rules or

newer rules supplements that have not yet been

incorporated into Hero Designer. They are also

useful for adding versions of standard Modifiers

with non-standard values. Finally, they be used

to add a Modifier that is currently unavailable for

the ability. Often, such Modifiers are unavailable

because they would normally be illegal in

the current circumstance (see the “Modifier

Intelligence” sidebar) but may be needed because of

an unusual ability construct.

CUSTOM ADDERS

Custom Adders adjust an ability’s Active Cost.

They can be positive or negative. Positive Custom

Adders increase the Active Cost, while negative

Custom Adders decrease it. You can use Custom

Adders for a variety of purposes. Possible uses

include Adders specified in house rules, cost

adjustments due to house rules or unusual ability

constructs, or to represent reduced cost abilities

(such as making a Skill into an Everyman Skill).

To add a Custom Adder, click the Custom

Adder button. An entry for the Custom Adder

appears on the ability dialog with a checked box

next to it. Edit the text “Custom Adder” to indicate

what the Custom Adder represents and set the

MODIFIER

INTELLIgENCE

When you try to attach a

Modifier, Hero Designer

lists only those Advantages

and Limitations that

are currently valid to be

attached to the ability.

For example, if the ability

is not ranged, the No

Range Limitation is not

listed. Similarly, if the

ability does not have an

Endurance cost of 0, the

Persistent Advantage is

not available. However,

if you add the Reduced

Endurance Advantage

to lower the END cost

to zero, Persistent then

becomes available.

Modifier intelligence also

prevents Modifiers that

should be attached only

once from being attached

multiple times.

Other aspects of Modifier

intelligence, like mutual

exclusivity, affect abilityspecific

Modifiers and

Adders. Attaching certain

Modifiers and Adders

prohibits attaching others.

Once you attach one, any

mutually exclusive Adders

or Modifiers are grayed

out. Removing that Adder

or Modifier makes the

others available again.

If, due to house rules or

unusual ability constructs,

Modifier intelligence does

not let you add a desired

Modifier or Adder, you

can use a Custom Modifier

or Custom Adder and edit

it appropriately.

You can check to see if all

Modifiers on a character

are valid by selecting

Valid all Modifiers on

Character from the

Current Character

menu. A dialog showing

the offending Modifiers

appears and all abilities

with offending Modifiers

appear in red on the

character sheet pane.

You can turn off Modifier

Intelligence from the

Preferences dialog

as described in the

“Application Preferences”

section on page 33. This

also turns off the ability to

validate all Modifiers.


14 ■ Using Hero Designer Hero Designer 6th Edition

SPECIAL EFFECTS

The following standard

special effects are available

for all Hero Designer

abilities:

■ Acid

■ Alien

■ Air/Wind

■ Animal Body

■ Control Chi

■ Cosmic Energy

■ Cyberkinesis

■ Darkness

■ Density Alteration

■ Dimensional

Manipulation

■ Earth/Stone

■ Electricity

■ Emotion Control

■ Fire/Heat

■ Force

■ Gravity

■ Ice/Cold

■ Illusion

■ Kinetic Energy

■ Light

■ Luck

■ Magic/Mystic

■ Magnetism

■ Martial Arts

■ Matter Manipulation

■ Mental/Psionic

■ Metamorphic

■ Mutant

■ Precognition

■ Radiation

■ Serum Based

■ Shape Alteration

■ Size Alteration

■ Sleep/Dream

■ Solar/Celestial

■ Sonic

■ Speedster

■ Strength/Toughness

■ Stretching

■ Telekinetic

■ Teleportation

■ Time

■ Vibration

■ Water

■ Weather

■ Wood/Plant

■ Miscellaneous

value of the Adder using the value selector box. To

remove a Custom Adder, uncheck the box next to

it. The next time you edit the item on the character

sheet pane, the Adder will not be listed.

Copying, Cutting, And

Pasting Modifiers

Sometimes an ability has a set of Modifiers that

you would to copy or move to one or more other

abilities or to a List or Framework. You can do this

by right-clicking on the item on the character sheet

pane that has the modifiers you want to copy or

move and selecting the appropriate item from the

pop-up menu that appears.

To copy an ability’s Modifiers but still leave

them attached to the original ability, select Copy

Modifiers from the menu. To remove an ability’s

Modifiers so that they can be moved to another

ability, select Cut Modifiers from the menu.

Once you have cut or copied a set of Modifiers,

right-click on the item (or List or Framework) to

which you want to add those Modifiers, and select

Paste Modifier from the pop-up menu that appears.

Any Modifiers that are valid to be added to the

target item (or List or Framework) are added.

Cost Multipliers

When the Cost Multipliers checkbox of the

Rules tab on the View/Edit Rules dialog (see the

“Campaign Rules” section on page 36) is checked, a

Cost Multiplier button appears on each ability’s

dialog. When you click this button, the Cost

Multiplier dialog appears.

On this dialog, you can specify a value by which

the cost of the ability will be multiplied. If you want

to double the normal cost of the ability, you would

enter “2” in the Cost Multiplier field. Similarly,

if you want the cost to be a third of normal, you

would enter “.333333” in that field.

As noted on the dialog, cost multipliers are not

officially part of the HERO System Fifth Edition or

the HERO System Sixth Edition rules. However, they

do have their uses in optional rules. At least one

Fantasy Hero magic system suggests charging onethird

normal cost for spells. Additionally, individual

GMs may find this feature useful for implementing

their campaigns’ house rules.

Assigning Special Effects

Special effects can play a big part in many HERO

System games and Hero Designer lets you quickly

and easily assign a special effect to each ability. To

do so, use the Special Effect dropdown list on the

ability’s dialog to select the desired special effect.

See the “Standard Special Effects” sidebar for a list

of the available special effects.

If your desired special effect is not available in

the dropdown list, you can type your special effect

directly into the Special Effect field.

Assigned special effects will not appear on the

character sheet pane and will not normally be

exported unless the Export Format used specifically

exports them.

Attaching Notes

Occasionally, it is handy to add extra notes to

an item’s description. To do so, click the Create

Notes… button on the ability’s dialog when adding

or editing an item. The Notes for… dialog appears.

On this dialog, enter the notes you want to

attach in the text box. If you do not want the notes

to appear on the character sheet pane, and thus, not

on an exported version of the character, uncheck

the Include in Print Out box. Click Close to close

the dialog.

When an item has a note attached, the Create

Notes… button changes to an Edit Notes… button,

which lets you edit the attached notes. If you delete

all the text on the Notes for… dialog, the Edit

Notes… button reverts to a Create Notes… button.

Possible uses for notes includes specifying

additional information about the ability (such as the

Sense Groups that can detect a Power), providing

further details about Modifiers attached to the

ability, and so forth.

Associating Files

Several HERO System abilities (most notably,

the Follower and Vehicles & Bases Perks and the

Duplication, Multiform, and Summon Powers) have

costs which are based on another related HERO

System character. Hero Designer provides two

methods for dealing with such an ability.

The first method is simply to enter the

appropriate costs for the related character on the

ability’s dialog. However, this means that any time


Hero Designer 6th Edition Using Hero Designer ■ 15

you make a change in the related character, you

need to update the costs on the ability’s dialog.

The second method is to directly associate the

related character with the main character’s ability

by clicking the Associate File… button on the

ability’s dialog (see the Summon dialog above).

A standard file selector dialog appears. Select the

Hero Designer character file you wish to associate

and click Associate Character. The ability’s dialog

is updated with the information from the related

character and the cost of the ability is calculated.

Once you have associated a file with an ability,

any changes you make to the associated file (and

save) will be reflected on the ability’s dialog and in

the ability’s cost.

Also, once a file is associated with an ability, the

Associate File… button is replaced with a Remove

File Association button. Clicking this button

removes the file association but leaves the last

values received from the previously associated file.

viewing An Ability’s

Definition

To view an ability’s definition, click the Define

button on the ability’s dialog when adding or

editing an item. Alternatively, you can right-click

on an item on the character sheet and select Define

from the pop-up menu that appears. In either case,

a pop-up box appears showing the definition. Click

anywhere on the box to dismiss it. Similarly, you

can view the definition of a Modifier by clicking on

the Define button of its dialog.

When the Show Popup definitions in selection

lists checkbox is checked on the Display tab of the

Preferences dialog as described in the “Application

Preferences” section on page 33, you can view an

ability’s definition by simply moving your mouse

over the ability’s name in a selection list.

Copying,

Cutting, And

Pasting

As discussed earlier,

you can reorder items on

the character sheet pane

with the Down-Arrow and

Up-Arrow buttons. These

buttons work great if you

are just moving items up

or down a few positions.

However, if you want to

move an item freely to

any point on the character

sheet pane or even copy or

move an item to another

character, you can use the

Edit menu on the character

sheet menu bar. This menu

has three items: Cut, Copy,

and Paste.

To remove an item from the character sheet pane

and place it on the Hero Designer clipboard, select

Cut.

To copy an item (without removing it) from the

character sheet and place it on the Hero Designer

clipboard, select Copy.

The Paste entry on the menu is only available if

the current item on the Hero Designer clipboard

can be added to the current tab. Normally, items

copied or cut from a tab can only be added to that

same tab (on any character). However, items from

the Skills, Perks, Talents, Powers, and Equipment

tabs can be added to the Powers or Equipment

tabs. In addition, Skills, Perks, and Talents

purchased as Powers or Equipment can be added to

the Skills, Perks, and Talents tabs, respectively.

Pasting an item to the character sheet pane of

a tab works in the same way as adding an item. As

described in the “Adding an Item” section on page

11, you must first select where to paste the item on

the character pane. This is based on whether or not

an item on the pane is highlighted and the current

setting of the Insert button. Then, select Paste

from the Edit menu to add the item in the desired

location.

Alternatively, you can access this functionality

by right-clicking on an item and selecting Cut,

Copy, or Paste from the pop-up menu that appears.

Note that once an item is on the Hero Designer

clipboard, it remains there until another cut or

copied item replaces it or you exit Hero Designer.

Thus, you can cut or copy an item from one

character and paste it on another.

Items placed on the Hero Designer clipboard

are also placed on the system clipboard and can be

pasted into other applications.


16 ■ Using Hero Designer Hero Designer 6th Edition

UNUSUAL

EvERyMAN SKILLS

Everyman Skills vary from

campaign to campaign

and not all of them

are the standard free

8- Familiarity that Hero

Designer handles easily.

For example, the sample

Everyman Skill list for

modern campaigns in

the HERO System Sixth

Edition rules includes a

Professional Skill at 11and

Transport Familiarity:

Small Motorized Ground

Vehicle. Both are nonstandard,

so you must

use another method to

represent these free Skills.

That method is Custom

Adders. For each of these

Everyman Skills, purchase

the Skill normally

and attach a negative

Custom Adder to bring

the cost down to 0 and

edit “Custom Adder” to

“Everyman”.

When creating several

characters for a campaign

that has unusual Everyman

Skills, you may find useful

to create a Prefab for the

campaign’s Everyman

Skills. Prefabs are

described in the “Prefabs

And Package Deals”

chapter on page 40.

Sorting

In addition to being able to rearrange items on

the character sheet pane by moving items up and

down or by cutting, copying, and pasting, you can

also sort all the items on the character sheet pane of

a given tab.

To sort the items on a tab’s character sheet, use

the Sorting menu from the character sheet menu

bar. First select either Ascending or Descending

to specify whether the items are to be sort in

ascending or descending order. When you select

one these two menu items, you are then presented

with four options for sorting the items on the

character sheet: by Type, by Display, by Real Cost,

and by Active Cost.

If you select by Real Cost or by Active Cost, the

items on the character sheet are sorted in ascending

or descending numerical order based on the chosen

cost. If you select by Display, the items are sorted in

ascending or descending alphabetical order based

on the text displayed for each item. Finally, if you

select by Type, the items are sorted in ascending

or descending alphabetical order based on default

Display field for each item. For example, all Blasts

will be sorted together.

If the character sheet contains any lists or

Power Frameworks, the items within each list or

Framework are also sorted

according to the selected

criteria.

Finally, if the sort being

performed does not affect

an item, it is not moved.

This means, for example, if

you first sort Complications

in descending order by

their Active Costs and then

resort in ascending order

by their type, you get a list

of Complications grouped

by type (in alphabetical

order) with the individual

Complications within each

grouping appearing in

descending order of their

Active Costs.

Because there is no way

to undo a sorting operation,

you should always save a

character before performing

any sort. This allows you

to easily return to the unsorted version if the sort

yields undesired results.

Skills

In general, Skills are added just like any other

ability. One exception to this is those Skills which

do not have any additional options. Normally, such

Skills are added automatically as though you had

right-clicked on the Skill name. This ability can be

disabled from the Preferences dialog as described

in the “Application Preferences” section on page 33.

If you are adding a Skill which features

additional options, or you are editing a Skill, the

dialog for that Skill appears.

As you can see from the Acrobatics dialog

shown below, this dialog may include several fields.

The Display field shows how the Skill is labeled

on the character sheet pane, that is, it is the actual

name of the Skill. This field is completely editable.

For example, in a Star Hero campaign, your GM

might have added a separate Zero-G Acrobatics

Skill that works just like Acrobatics but in a zero-G

environment. The easiest way to add such a Skill to

a character using Hero Designer is to simply add the

Acrobatics Skill and edit the Display field to read

“Zero-G Acrobatics”. When adding new Skills in

this manner, the Power Skill is a good choice to edit

because it allows you to choose which Characteristic

the Skill is based on.

The Characteristic field shows the Characteristic

on which the Skill Roll is based. For Skills that can

be based on one of a variety of Characteristics (for

example, Knowledge Skill, Professional Skill and

Power), this field contains a dropdown list showing

the available Characteristics (as well as possibly

GENERAL). From this list, you can choose the

Characteristic on which to base the Skill Roll. If you

choose GENERAL, the Skill Roll has a base of 11-.


Hero Designer 6th Edition Using Hero Designer ■ 17

The Levels field contains a value selector box

that lets you purchase additional +1s to the Skill

Roll. This field starts at 0 to indicate to the base Skill

Roll.

For Skills that can be purchased as a 8-

Familiarity, the Skill dialog contains a checkbox

labeled Familiarity Only. Check this box to

indicate that you only want a Familiarity with the

Skill. When you do so, the Levels field is grayed out

and an additional checkbox may appear, labeled

Everyman Skill. If the Skill is an Everyman Skill in

the character’s campaign (that is, Familiarity with

the Skill is free), check this box.

Similarly, if the Skill can be purchased as a 10-

Proficiency according to the optional Proficiency

rules in HERO System Sixth Edition, the Skill dialog

includes a Proficiency checkbox. Check this box to

purchase the Skill as a Proficiency.

If you only want to purchase bonuses with a Skill

(as used in several racial Templates in Fantasy Hero,

for example), check the Skill Levels Only checkbox.

When you do so, the Levels field represents the

number of bonus levels with the Skill.

The dialog for some Skills may have additional

fields that are tailored to that Skill. For example,

Knowledge Skill has a Type field with a dropdown

list of Groups, People, Places, and Things that lets

you identify the type of knowledge the Skill covers.

For this Skill, choosing an item from that list

might change the value shown in the Display field.

Choosing People changes the Display field to CuK

(Cultural Knowledge); choosing Places changes

Display to AK (Area Knowledge); choosing Groups

or Things leaves Display as KS. The item chosen

from this list also changes the label for the field

where you enter the field of knowledge to which the

Skill applies.

Some Skills (for example, Gambling, Survival,

and Transport Familiarity) have categories and

possibly subcategories as well. These categories and

subcategories appear as ability-specific Adders in

the Adders section of the dialog and are added and

removed as described in the “Attaching Adders and

Modifiers” section on page 12. Because categories

and subcategories are implemented as Adders, you

can purchase additional unlisted ones as Custom

Adders.

For Skills with subcategories, the cost of

purchasing subcategories maxes out at the cost

of the category under which they are listed.

For example, the Card Games category for the

Gambling Skill costs 2 points. It has 5 subcategories

that cost 1 point each. Regardless of how many of

the subcategories of Card Games are purchased,

they will never cost more than a total of 2 points

(the cost to purchase the category).

There are also some Skills which do not have

categories or subcategories in the HERO System

Fifth Edition and HERO System Sixth Edition rules,

but have been expanded in other HERO System

books. For example, Computer Programming

was expanded in Star Hero to feature a range of

categories and subcategories. When you purchase

such a Skill without selecting any categories or

subcategories, Hero Designer uses the cost of the

original version. Otherwise, it uses the costs of the

expanded version.

Finally, the Combat Driving and Combat

Piloting Skills, as described in the HERO System

Fifth Edition and HERO System Sixth Edition

rules, grant a free Transport Familiarity with an

appropriate 1-point subcategory of vehicle. When

you purchase Transport Familiarity with one of

the appropriate subcategories, the total cost of

the Transport Familiarity is reduced by 1 point to

account for this.

If the cost of a Skill as determined by Hero

Designer differs from what you think it should

be because of house rules used in the character’s

campaign, you can use a Custom Adder to adjust

the cost. When you do so, you should edit “Custom

Adder” to something appropriate.

Skill Enhancers can also affect the cost of a Skill.

Because Hero Designer implements Skill Enhancers

using Lists, they are discussed in the “Skill and Perk

Enhancers” section on page 29.

CUSTOM SKILLS

The previous section showed how you could edit

an existing Skill’s Display field as a way to add a

new Skill. Another method of adding new Skills is

Custom Skills

Custom Skill appears in the available item list on

the right pane of the Skills tab. You can add it to a

character like any other Skill.

On the Custom Skill dialog, edit the Display

field to indicate what you want the Skill to be

called on the character sheet pane. Enter the full

cost of the Skill using the value selector box in

the Cost field and the Skill Roll using the value

selector box in the Roll field. If the Skill does not

LANgUAgE

FAMILIARITy

CHART

Hero Designer, by default,

does not use the Language

Familiarity Chart from the

HERO System Fifth Edition

and HERO System 6th

Edition rules to calculate

the cost of Languages.

However, you can enable

the use of this chart in

the current campaign

rules as described in the

“Campaign Rules” section

on page 36.

When the Language

Familiarity Chart is

enabled, you must define

a native language. If you

do not do so, you will be

penalized 1 point for not

having at least a 1-point

similarity with the first

Language you purchase.


18 ■ Using Hero Designer Hero Designer 6th Edition

have a roll, enter 0. If the

Skill uses categories and

subcategories, enter them as

Custom Adders, editing the

name appropriately.

The best use for Custom

Skills is adding new Skills

with an unusual cost

structure. If a new Skill has

the same cost structure as

an existing Skill, it is best to

use the method of editing

the existing Skill’s Display

field.

Perks

When you add a Perk

to a character, the dialog

for that Perk appears. In

general, the dialogs for Perks are very simple and

easy to fill out.

The Display field shows the name of the Perk

and is fully editable. The other fields on Perk dialogs

are very straightforward. They are used for things

such as setting the point value and roll (if any) for

the Perk and providing additional details about the

Perk (for example, the name of a Contact). Some,

such as the Contact dialog, feature Perk-specific

Adders used to provide additional information that

affect the cost of the Perk. In a similar vein, the

Fringe Benefit Perk uses Adders to represent each of

the individual benefits that can be bought as part of

the Perk. To add a benefit not listed, use a Custom

Adder. For example, if the campaign has the Fringe

Benefit “Sanctioned Superhero” that costs 3 points,

you would add a Custom Adder worth 3 points to

the Fringe Benefit dialog and edit “Custom Adder”

to read “Sanctioned Superhero”.

The Well-Connected Skill Enhancer also affects

the cost of Perks. Because Well-Connected only

affects Perks, Hero Designer actually considers it a

Perk Enhancer. Hero Designer implements Skill and

Perk Enhancers using Lists. They are discussed in

the “Skill and Perk Enhancers” section on page 29.

CUSTOM PERKS

Custom Perks are similar to Custom Skills in

that you use them to add new Perks. Custom Perk

appears in the available item list on the right pane

of the Perks tab. You can add it to a character like

any other Perk.

On the Custom Perk dialog, edit the Display

field to indicate what you want the Perk to be called

on the character sheet pane. Enter the full cost of

the Perk using the value selector box in the Cost

field and the roll associated with the Perk using the

value selector box in the Roll field. If the Perk does

not have a roll, enter 0.

Talents

In general, Talents are added just like any other

ability. One exception to this is those Talents which

do not have any additional options. Normally, such

Talents are added automatically as though you had

right-clicked on the Talent name. This ability can be

disabled from the Preferences dialog as described

in the “Application Preferences” section on page 33.

If you are adding a Talent which features

additional options, or you are editing a Talent, the

dialog for that Talent appears.

The dialogs for Talents are very similar to those

for Skills and Perks and can range from the simple

to the complex. For example, because the Danger

Sense Talent behaves similarly to other Senses,

its dialog features the full list of Adders that are

normally available to Enhanced Senses.


Hero Designer 6th Edition Using Hero Designer ■ 19

Finally, a note should be made about the Combat

Luck Talent. Because Combat Luck provides PD

and ED that you may want to include in your

Defense Talents, its dialog has a Totaling Options

field. This field is described in the “Characteristics

From Powers” section on page 21.

CUSTOM TALENTS

Custom Talents are similar to Custom Skills

and Custom Perks in that you use them to add new

Talents. Custom Talent appears in the available item

list on the right pane of the Talents tab. You can add

it to a character like any other Talent.

On the Custom Talent dialog, edit the Display

field to indicate what you want the Talent to be

called on the character

sheet pane. Enter the full

cost of the Talent using

the value selector box in

the Cost field and the roll

associated with the Talent

using the value selector

box in the Roll field. If the

Talent has no roll, enter 0.

Martial Arts

The available item list

on the Martial Maneuvers

subtab of the Martial Arts

tab contains all the Martial

Maneuvers defined in both

the HERO System Fifth

Edition and HERO System

Sixth Edition rules as well as

The Ultimate Martial Artist

(for HERO System Fifth

Edition) and HERO System

Martial Arts (for HERO

System Sixth Edition). It also

includes Weapon Element

and +1 Damage Class(es)

with both hand-to-hand

and ranged Maneuvers.

When you add a Maneuver

from this list to a character, the appropriate dialog

appears. For the hand-to-hand and ranged Martial

Maneuvers, the dialog is similar to the one shown

below for Offensive Strike.

The Display field contains the name of the

Maneuver. This field can be edited if the Maneuver

has a different name in the martial style being

entered. For example, if you were entering the

Boxing style, you would edit “Offensive Strike” to

instead read “Hook”.

The Type field contains a dropdown list that lets

you choose whether the Maneuver is used with an

empty hand or with a weapon.

The Phase, OCV, and DCV fields show how

many phases the Maneuver

takes to perform, its OCV

modifier, and its DCV

modifier.

The Effect field shows

the effect of the Maneuver.

This includes damage and

other effects. Damage and

STR-based effects indicated

in this field include the

base effect of the character’s

STR plus any extra Damage

Classes that apply to the

Maneuver. They do not,

however, include the base

weapon damage, which can

vary widely

The dialog for ranged

Martial Maneuvers


20 ■ Using Hero Designer Hero Designer 6th Edition

also includes a Range field which indicates the

additional OCV modifier for using the Maneuver

at range.

For +1 HTH Damage Class(es) and +1 Ranged

Damage Class(es), the dialog simply lets you choose

the number of extra damage classes you want

to purchase for that type of maneuver. As noted

earlier, these extra damage classes are automatically

included in the effects for appropriate maneuvers.

The Weapon Element dialog simply lets you

specify which weapons a style applies to.

To purchase an entire Martial Arts style,

separately purchase each

of the Martial Maneuvers

as well as any Weapon

Element that applies to

that style. Any Weapon

Familiarities, Knowledge

Skills, or other Skills that

might be listed as part of

the style are purchased

from the Skills tab.

Lists are a good way to

organize the Maneuvers

and Weapon Elements

of a given style. Lists are

described in the “Working

with Lists and Frameworks”

on page 25.

Also, because Martial

Arts styles are often used

over and over again in

different characters. This

makes them a prime

candidate for placing

in Prefabs. Prefabs are

described in the “Prefabs

And Package Deals” chapter

on page 40.

CUSTOM MANEUvERS

Custom Maneuvers

let you add new Martial

Maneuvers. Custom

Maneuver appears in the

available item list on the

right pane of the Martial

Arts tab. You can add it

to a character like any

other Martial Maneuver.

The Custom

Maneuver dialog features

several fields describing

the new Maneuver. By

default, these fields are

set to the values for the

Basic Strike Maneuver.

The Display field

indicates the name of

the Maneuver. Edit it

from “Basic Strike” to the

name desired.

The Cost field features a value selector box

that lets you set the cost in Character Points for

the Maneuver. You can either pick an appropriate

cost based on the costs of existing Maneuvers or

calculate the cost using the rules for creating new

Maneuvers given in The Ultimate Martial Artist

(for HERO System Fifth Edition) and HERO System

Martial Arts (for HERO System Sixth Edition) .

The Phase field contains a dropdown list from

which you can select how long it takes to perform

the Maneuver.


Hero Designer 6th Edition

Using Hero Designer ■ 21

The OCV, DCV, and

Range fields each feature

a value selector box for

setting the OCV modifier,

DCV modifier, and ranged

OCV modifier for the

Maneuver. If the new

Maneuver is not ranged, set

the Range field to -1.

Finally, the Effect field

describes the effects of the

Maneuver. Edit it from

“Strike” to appropriate text

that describes the effect.

If the effect of the new

Maneuver would normally

be affected by extra Damage

Classes, you should include

those Damage Classes in

the text that you enter to

keep it consistent with other

Maneuvers.

Powers

The available item list

on the right pane of the

Powers tab includes all

appropriate Powers described in the HERO System

Fifth Edition or HERO System Sixth Edition rules.

It also has entries for adding Characteristics, Skills,

Perks, Talents as Powers as well as entries for

Compound Powers, Naked Modifiers, and Custom

Powers.

When you add a Power to a character, the dialog

for that Power appears. Because of the complexity

of Powers, the dialog for each Power is different and

there is no way that this manual can describe all

of them. However, most of the fields on a Power’s

dialog should be easy to figure out if you review

the Power’s description in the appropriate HERO

System rulebook.

The following sections cover some of the areas

that require additional information.

CHARACTERISTICS FROM POWERS

Many Powers (including Characteristics bought

as Powers) add to a character’s Characteristics.

For example, Armor and Force Field in HERO

System Fifth Edition and Resistant Protection in

HERO System Sixth Edition increase PD and ED,

while Fifth Edition Growth adds to STR, BODY,

and STUN and Sixth Edition Growth adds to STR,

CON, PRE, PD, ED, BODY, STUN, and Running.

The dialogs for such Powers (like the Resistant

Protection dialog above) have a Totaling Options

field which contains a dropdown list. Normally,

this dropdown has three options: Add to Primary

Value, Add to Secondary Value, and Do Not

Add to Totals. The Add to Primary Value option

adds Characteristics granted by that Power to the

primary values for those Characteristics.

The primary value is either the only value shown

in the Totals column for that Characteristic on

the Characteristics tab, or if a secondary value

also exists, it is the value to the left of the / in that

column. The primary value of a Characteristic is

normally in effect at all times.

The Add to Secondary Value option adds

any Characteristics granted by the Power to the

secondary values for those Characteristics. The

secondary value will be shown to the right of the /

in the Totals column for that Characteristic on the

Characteristics tab. Normally, the secondary value

of a Characteristic represents a value that is only

in effect some of the time. For example, if you have

Characteristics bought with the Only In Heroic

Identity Limitation, you would normally choose to

have them added to the secondary value.

The Do Not Add to Totals option does not add

the Characteristics granted by the Power to any

totals. These Characteristics only appear in the

Power’s description on the character sheet pane.

CHARACTERISTICS AS POWERS

As well as the Totaling Options field discussed

previously, the dialog for a Characteristic bought

as a Power (including Running, Swimming,

and Leaping which Hero Designer treats as

Characteristics) also contains an Add Modifiers

to Base Characteristics checkbox. If this box is

checked, Hero Designer includes the value for

the Characteristic from the Value column of the

Characteristics tab when calculating the cost of any

Modifiers attached to the Characteristic.

For example, if a character has 13 INT in the

Value column of the Characteristics tab and

purchases an additional 10 INT as a Power with

BUyINg SPD AS A

POWER

When purchasing SPD as

a Power, it is important to

note that you can only buy

it in full increments of +1

for 10 points. You cannot

buy fractional SPD.

If you are creating a

character using a HERO

System Sixth Edition

template, this is really not

relevant. However, it does

have some implications

if you are a creating a

character using a HERO

System Fifth Edition

template.

For example, suppose

a character has a DEX

of 13/25 and you want

the character to have a

SPD of 3/5. The primary

SPD of 3 is bought on

the Characteristics tab

at a cost of 7 Character

Points. This means that the

secondary SPD has a base

value of 4.5 (1 + 2.8 + .7)

which, for all purposes, is

treated as SPD 4. You need

to buy another full point of

SPD as a Power (and add

it to the secondary value)

with an Active Cost of 10

points to get a secondary

SPD of 5.

Some HERO System Fifth

Edition campaigns have

a house rule that lets you

buy fractional SPD as a

Power. In such campaigns,

you would only need to

buy .5 SPD as a Power for

an Active Cost of 5 points

to raise the secondary

SPD to 5. To do this in

Hero Designer, you would

purchase the full 1 point

of SPD and then use a

negative Custom Adder

to reduce the Active Cost

to simulate purchasing

fractional SPD.


22 ■ Using Hero Designer Hero Designer 6th Edition

TARgETINg AND

NONTARgETINg

SENSES

Sense-Affecting Powers

like Flash and Invisibility

have different costs for

affecting Targeting and

Nontargeting Senses.

The HERO System Fifth

Edition and HERO System

Sixth Edition templates

designate the following

Senses as Targeting Senses:

■ Active Sonar

■ Infrared Perception

■ Mind Scan

■ Nightvision

■ Normal Sight

■ Radar

■ Spatial Awareness

■ Ultraviolet Perception

Also, HERO System

Fifth Edition templates

designate the following as

a Targeting Sense:

■ N-Ray Perception

The Sight Group is the

only Targeting Sense

Group. All other Senses

and Sense Groups are

Nontargeting.

In campaigns with other

Targeting Senses or

Sense Groups, you must

purchase Powers that affect

those Senses or Sense

Groups as affecting one of

the above Targeting Senses

or the Sight Group. You

would then edit the sense

name to reflect the desired

Targeting Sense or Sense

Group.

In campaign where any of

the Targeting Senses above

or the Sight Group are

Nontargeting, you must

purchase Powers that affect

those Senses as affecting

one of the normally

Nontargeting Senses or

Sense Groups. You would

then edit the name of the

Sense or Sense Group

appropriately.

A more complete solution

for changing Targeting

Senses and Sense Groups

is to create a custom

character template. Details

on creating and editing

character templates can be

found in the “Character

Templates” chapter on

page 43.

Add Modifiers to Base Characteristics checked,

any Modifiers that are added to the 13 INT bought

as a Power will have their cost calculated as if

bought on 13 INT (an effective Active Cost of

13 points). The whole cost of such Modifiers is

included in the cost of the Characteristic on the

Powers tab.

This technique can be used to apply Modifiers

to just the base Characteristic value. For example,

suppose a character has a 25 STR in the Value

column of the Characteristics tab and you want to

purchase a +1/2 Reduced Endurance Advantage

to reduce it to an END cost of 0. You can do this

by purchasing 0 STR as a Power, checking Add

Modifiers to Base Characteristics, and attaching

the Reduced Endurance Advantage.

COMPOUND POWERS

Compound Powers are two or more Powers

attached together to form a single Power construct.

Compound Powers can represent partially limited

Powers, linked Powers in a Power Framework,

and a variety of similar

constructs. When you add

a Compound Power, the

Compound Power dialog

appears.

This dialog differs from

most ability dialogs in

that it displays a miniature

version of the character

sheet pane and features a

different set of buttons.

To add a Power to the

Compound Power, click

the Add button. A list of

available Powers appears.

Select the Power that you

want to add from this list.

The dialog for the selected

Power appears. Fill out

this dialog and attach

Adders and Modifiers in

the same way you would

for any other Power. Click

OK when you are done and the Power description

appears on the Compound Power dialog.

You can edit a Power in a Compound Power by

highlighting it and either clicking the Edit button

or pressing Enter.

The Compound Power dialog also features

Up-Arrow, Down-Arrow, and Insert buttons that

work similarly to the corresponding buttons on the

character sheet pane.

Once you have entered all the Powers that are

going to make up the Compound Power, click the

OK button on the Compound Power dialog. The

Compound Power will be added to the character

sheet pane. The description of the Compound

Power is made up of the descriptions of its

component Powers separated by the word “plus”

in bold. This is similar to the format used for such

Power constructs in the HERO System Fifth Edition

and HERO System Sixth Edition rulebooks.

The Active, Real, and END costs for a

Compound Power are the sums of the Active,

Real, and END costs of its

component Powers. Note,

however, that the Real

Cost may be adjusted if the

Compound Power is in a

List or Framework.

NAKED ADvANTAgES

The Naked Advantages

Power lets you enter Naked

Advantages. To create a

Naked Adder as described

in the rulebook, use a

Custom Power.

When you add a Naked

Advantage to a character

from the available item

list, the Naked Advantage

dialog appears.


Hero Designer 6th Edition Using Hero Designer ■ 23

Like all Power dialogs, the Naked Advantage

dialog includes a Name field where you can specify

what the Naked Advantage is to be called.

The Display field should be edited to identify

the precise type of Naked Advantage and what

the Advantage modifies. For example, if you were

buying Autofire as a Naked Advantage that can be

used with any firearm (to represent someone who

can shoot any gun quickly), you might edit this field

to read “Naked Advantage for All Firearms”.

The Max. Base Cost field has a value selector

box that specifies the Active Cost of the largest

Power to which the Naked Advantage can apply.

To specify the actual Naked Advantages

that can be applied to another Power, click the

Naked Modifiers… button and select the desired

Advantages. The costs of these Advantages is based

on the value specified in the Max. Base Cost field.

This is the Active Cost of the Naked Advantage.

To offer maximum flexibility, all Advantages are

available as Naked Advantages.

To attach an Advantage or Limitation which

only applies to and affects the cost of the Naked

Modifier, click the Add Modifiers… button and

the add the Modifiers using the same procedure as

adding a Modifier to any other ability.

CUSTOM POWERS

Custom Powers let you add new Powers to

a character that aren’t defined in the current

character template. You can also use them for

Power constructs such as Naked Adders that cannot

be added using other methods. You can attach

Modifiers and Adders to a Custom Power.

Custom Power appears in the available item list

on the right pane of the Powers tab. You can add

it to a character like any other Power. You can also

add Custom Powers to Compound Powers.

When you add a Custom Power, the Custom

Power dialog appears. This dialog features a variety

of options that let you give the details of the Power.

The Display field lets

you identify the Power. For

example, when creating a

character for a campaign

that used, as a house rule,

the HERO System Fourth

Edition version of Instant

Change, you would enter

“Instant Change” in the

Display field.

The Base Cost field has

a value selector box used to

specify the Active Cost of

the Custom Power.

The Uses END

checkbox determines

whether or not END is

calculated or specified.

When checked, END is

calculated like any other

Power. When unchecked,

the Define Custom END Column Output

checkbox is available. Checking this box makes

the END Column Output field available. In this

field, you can enter the specific value or text that

will appear in the END column for this Custom


24 ■ Using Hero Designer Hero Designer 6th Edition

DISADvANTAgES

AND FIFTH EDITION

TEMPLATES

As mentioned in the

section “Ability and

Complications Tabs” on

page 16, HERO System Fifth

Edition uses the term

Disadvantage instead of

Complication and thus,

Fifth Edition templates

have a Disadvantages

tab instead of a

Complications tab.

When the Normal

Characteristic Maxima

box is checked on the

Characteristics tab (see

the “Characteristics Tab”

section on page 8) of a

Fifth Edition template, the

Normal Characteristic

Maxima Disadvantage

automatically appears on

the character sheet pane

of the Disadvantages

tab. Similarly, when an

age restriction is selected,

the Age Disadvantage

also appears on the

Disadvantages tab. These

Disadvantages can be

moved up and down

on the character sheet

pane and sorted but they

cannot be deleted, edited,

cut, or copied. They only

change when the setting

on the Characteristics tab

changes.

Power. If neither the Uses

END or Define Custom

END Column Output

checkboxes are checked, the

Custom Power is displayed

with an END value of 0.

The other checkboxes,

dropdown lists, and 0 point

Adders let you specify

properties of the Custom

Power that are primarily

used to determine the

Modifiers that can be used

with the Power.

Complications

Adding Complications

to a character is very straightforward. When

you add a Complication from those listed in the

available item list, the dialog for that Complication

appears.

All Complication dialogs have a Display field

that contains the name of the Complication. The

other fields are usually either dropdown lists from

which you choose the various factors that affect the

Complication value or blank fields in which you

provide additional details about the Complication.

Occasionally, some Complication dialogs also use

Adders and even Modifiers to specify information.

If, for some reason such as house rules, you

need to adjust the value of a Complication, attach a

Custom Adder.

The Active Points and Real Cost fields on the

dialog indicate the value of the Complication. As

you select options that affect this value, you will see

these fields change to reflect these choices.

When you have finished filling out the dialog,

click the OK button. The Complication appears on

the character sheet pane.

The current campaign rules specify the

maximum number of points in a given type of

Complication you can add to a character. For details

on setting campaign rules, see the “Campaign

Rules” section on page 33.

CUSTOM COMPLICATIONS

Custom Complications let you add new

Complications to a character. You might also use

it for such things as Experience Points needed

to balance a Powerful supervillain and Mystery

Complications.

Custom Complication appears in the available

item list on the right pane of the Complications

tab. You can add it to a character like any other

Complication.

The Display field should be edited to reflect

the name of the new Complication (for example,

Mystery Complication).

The Points field has a value selector box used to

set the value of the Complication.

When using Custom Complication to represent

a new Complication that has a cost based on several

factors, you may want to set the Points field to 0

and use Custom Adders to represent each factor

and how much it is worth. Edit the name of each

Custom Adder to reflect the factor it is representing.

HERO System Fifth Edition templates use the

term Custom Disadvantage rather than Custom

Complication but otherwise

the two are identical.

Equipment

Constructing equipment

on the Equipment tab is

similar to constructing

Powers on the Powers tab.

There are two significant

differences.

The first difference

is that points spent on

equipment are not included

in the character’s point

total. The equipment

point total is, however,

displayed above the

character sheet pane.


Hero Designer 6th Edition Using Hero Designer ■ 25

The campaign rules, as

described in the “Campaign

Rules” section on page 36,

may specify a maximum

number of equipment

points per character. The

second difference is that

abilities purchased on the

Equipment tab have an

Equipment Info section on

their dialogs. This section

lets you specify information

about that particular piece

of equipment.

The Weight field

specifies the weight

of the item in either

kilograms or pounds as

set on the Preferences

menu as described in the

“Application Preferences”

section on page 33.

The Price field specifies

the price of the item. The

format of the Price field

depends upon the current

campaign rules as described

in the “Campaign Rules”

section on page 36.

Finally, the Carried

checkbox specifies if the

item is carried by the

character. When checked,

the weight of the item is

added to the weight of

all other items carried by

character. If this total is

greater than the amount than the character can

carry (based on the character’s STR), a warning

appears.

WORKINg WITH LISTS AND

FRAMEWORKS

Lists are used to organize abilities into groups on

the character sheet pane. Hero Designer uses Lists

to implement Frameworks as well as Skill and Perk

Enhancers.

Lists

In their generic form, Lists can contain any item

allowed on the tab. Items in a List are numbered 1),

2), 3) and so on.

Possible uses for Lists include Powers that share

common Modifiers (for example, a powered armor

character might put all the Powers that have the

powered armor as a Focus in a List), Martial Arts

styles, or Skills associated with specific training (for

example, ninja training).

CREATINg A LIST

To create a new list, select New List… from the

List menu on the character sheet menu bar.

The New List dialog appears.

ATTACHINg

MODIFIERS

TO LISTS AND

FRAMEWORKS

Modifiers on Lists and

Frameworks can be

divided into two groups:

Common Modifiers and

Private Modifiers.

Common Modifiers

apply to all items in a

List or Framework as

well as to the reserve of

a Framework. To attach

a Common Modifier,

click the Add Common

Modifier button on

the List or Framework

dialog.

Private Modifiers apply

only to the reserve of a

Multipower or Variable

Power Pool. They don’t

affect slot costs. To

attach a Private Modifier,

click the Add MP-only

Modifier button on a

Multipower dialog or the

Add VPP-only Modifier

button on a Variable

Power Pool dialog.

When you add a

Modifier of the same

type as a Common

Modifier to an item in

a List or Framework,

only the Modifier

attached to the item is

used. For example, if

you have a Multipower

with the Common OIF

Limitation attached and

add an OAF Limitation

to a slot, only the OAF is

applied to the slot’s cost.

The Charges Modifier

is an exception. When

you attach Charges as a

Common Modifier to a

Multipower or Elemental

Control, those Charges

apply to the whole

Framework; however,

the Modifier only affects

the Multipower reserve

or the base cost of the

Elemental Control. It

does not affect slot costs.

You can also attach

Modifiers to a List

or Framework by

pasting them from

another ability, List, or

Framework as discussed

in the “Copying, Cutting,

and Pasting Modifiers”

section on page 14.


26 ■ Using Hero Designer Hero Designer 6th Edition

ATTACHINg

CUSTOM ADDERS

TO LISTS AND

FRAMEWORKS

Adders on Lists and

Frameworks can be

divided into two groups:

Common Adders and

Private Adders.

Common Adders apply

to all items in a List

or Framework as well

as to the reserve of a

Framework. They do not

apply to the basic cost of a

List. To attach a Common

Adder, click the Common

Adder button on the List

or Framework dialog.

Private Adders, on

the other hand, apply

only to the reserve of a

Framework or to the basic

cost of a List. They do not

affect the cost of the slot

at all, only the cost of the

reserve or the basic List

cost To attach a Private

Adder, click the Private

Adder button on the List

or Framework dialog.

These Adders are useful

for simulating new Skill

or Perk Enhancers. By

placing the items to be

affected by the simulated

Enhancer in a List and

applying a Private Adder

of 3 and a Common Adder

of -1 to that List, you can

achieve the same effect as a

standard Enhancer.

Enter the name you want to give the List in

the List Name field and attach any Modifiers and

Custom Adders that you want to apply to the

List. See the “Attaching Modifiers To Lists And

Frameworks” sidebar and the “Attaching Custom

Adders To Lists And Frameworks” sidebar on page

26 for details on how Modifiers and Adders affect

slots. Click OK and the List name appears on

the character sheet pane along with the attached

Modifiers. The location of the List on the character

sheet pane is determined in the same way as adding

an item to the character sheet described in the

“Adding An Item” section on page 11.

If you attempt to create a List inside another

List or a Framework, a warning appears informing

you that the new List will be placed outside of the

selection. The new List appears after the existing

List or Framework on the character sheet pane.

Once you have created a List, you can edit its

name, Modifiers, Adders, and attached notes by

double-clicking on the END or Cost column next

to the List name on the character sheet pane, by

highlighting the List name and clicking the Edit

button, or by right-clicking on the List name and

selecting Edit from the pop-up menu.

ADDINg ITEMS TO A LIST

Adding items to a List or Framework is really

just a specialized case of adding items to the

character sheet pane described in the “Adding An

Item” section on page 21.

If no item is highlighted on the character sheet

pane, a List is at the bottom of the character sheet

pane, and the Insert button is set to Insert At End,

the item added appears as the last item in the List.

If the List name is highlighted and the Insert

button is set to Insert After, the item added appears

just after the List name as the first item in the List.

If an item in the List is highlighted and the

Insert button is set to either Insert After or Insert

Before, the item being added appears just after or

just before the highlighted item based on the setting

of the Insert button.

You can also move an item into a List from

elsewhere on the character sheet pane by

highlighting the item to be moved and using the

Up-Arrow and Down-Arrow buttons to move the

item into the List.

When you add an item to a List, the List’s

numbering is adjusted to include the new item.

REMOvINg ITEMS FROM A LIST

There are two ways to remove an item from a

List or Framework: deleting it from the character

entirely or by moving it out of the List.

Deleting a List item entirely is just like deleting

any other item on the character sheet pane. This

process is described in the “Deleting An Item”

section on page 11.

To move an item out of a List, highlight the item

and use the Up-Arrow and Down-Arrow buttons

to move it elsewhere on the character sheet pane.

When moving the last item in a List down, the first

move down does not actually change the item’s

position on the screen, it just takes it out of the List

(removing the numbering and List Modifiers).

When an item is removed from a List, the List’s

numbering is automatically adjusted.

DELETINg A LIST

To delete a List or Framework, highlight the List

name and either click the Delete button or press

the Delete key. You can also delete a List by rightclicking

on the List name and selecting Delete from

the pop-up menu that appears or by clicking the

Delete button on the List’s dialog when editing it.

When you attempt to delete a List, a dialog

appears prompting you for confirmation of the

deletion. If you click Yes and there are no items

in the List, the List name is removed from the

character sheet pane. If you click Yes and there

are items in the List, you are then prompted if you

want to delete all items in the List. If you click Yes,

the List name and all items in the List are removed.

If you click No, just the List name is removed and

the numbering from the List items is removed,

making them the same as any item not in a List.

Any Modifiers that were applied to the List items as

a result of them being in the List are also removed

and the cost of the items is recalculated. If you click

Cancel, the deletion of the List is cancelled.

If you have turned off deletion confirmation

on the Preferences dialog as described in the

“Application Preferences” section on page 33, you will

not be prompted as to whether you want to delete

the List, but you will still be prompted as to whether

you want to delete all items in the List.

Separators

To add a blank line as a separator on the

character sheet pane, select New Separator from

the List menu on the character sheet menu bar.

Because separators are handled internally as

blank List names (although they cannot have items

like Lists), the rules for adding a separator are the

same as those for creating a List (see “Creating A

List” on page 25). This means that you cannot add a

separator in a List or Framework.

Elemental Controls

Hero Designer implements Elemental Controls

in HERO System Fifth Edition templates as Lists.


Hero Designer 6th Edition Using Hero Designer ■ 27

Since HERO System Sixth Edition no longer includes

Elemental Controls, this Framework is not available

when using Sixth Edition templates.

Once you have created an Elemental Control,

the process of adding and removing items is exactly

like that described for Lists in the previous section.

To create an Elemental Control select New

Elemental Control… from the Power Frameworks

menu on the character sheet menu bar of the

Powers tab.

The New Elemental Control dialog appears.

Enter the name that you want to assign to the

Elemental Control in the Name field. When you

want to give the Framework a name other than

Elemental Control(for example, “EC”), edit the EC

Name field to reflect this.

The Base Points field has a value selector box

used to set the base points of the Elemental Control.

All Powers added to the Elemental Control must

have an Active Cost of at least double that value.

From this dialog, you can also attach any

Modifiers and Custom Adders that you want to

affect the entire Framework. See the “Attaching

Modifiers To Lists And Frameworks” sidebar on

page 25 and the “Attaching Custom Adders To Lists

And Frameworks” sidebar on page 26.

When you have finished filling out this dialog,

click OK and the Elemental Control along with

the attached Modifiers appears on the character

sheet pane. The location of the Elemental Control

is determined in the same way as adding an item

to the character sheet described in the “Adding An

Item” section on page 11.

If you attempt to create an Elemental Control

inside another Framework or a List, a warning

appears informing you that the new Elemental

Control will be placed outside of the selection. It

appears after the existing Framework or List on the

character sheet pane.

Once an Elemental Control is created, you can

edit its name, base cost, Modifiers, Adders, and

attached notes by double-clicking on the Elemental

Control on the character sheet pane, by highlighting

the Elemental Control and clicking the Edit button,

or by right-clicking on the Elemental Control and

selecting Edit form the pop-up menu that appears.

If you try to add a Power whose Active Cost

is not at least twice the base cost of the Elemental

Control, a warning appears informing you that the

cost of that item will be raised to the minimum

required. Similarly, if you try to add a Special Power

or a Power that does not normally cost END, an

appropriate warning appears informing you that

adding the Power to an Elemental Control is not

normally allowed. However, the Power is still added.

You can set Hero Designer to allow Special

Powers and Powers that do not normally cost END

without warning or to explicitly forbid such Powers

with campaign rules, as described in the “Campaign

Rules” section on page 36.

Multipowers

Like Elemental Controls, Hero Designer

implements Multipowers as Lists. Once you have

created a Multipower, the process of adding and

removing items is exactly like that described for

Lists in the “Lists” section on page 25.

To create a Multipower, select New

Multipower… from the Power Frameworks menu

on the character sheet menu bar of the Powers tab.

The New Multipower dialog appears.

Enter the name that you want to assign to the

Multipower in the Name field. If, for some reason,


28 ■ Using Hero Designer Hero Designer 6th Edition

you would like the Framework called something

else on the character sheet pane (for example,

“MP”), edit the Multipower Name field to reflect

this.

The Base Points field has a value selector box

used to set the Multipower’s point reserve. All

Powers added to the Multipower must have an

Active Cost that is equal to or less than this value.

From this dialog, you can also attach any

Modifiers and Adders that you want to affect

either the reserve or the entire Framework. See the

“Attaching Modifiers To Lists And Frameworks”

sidebar on page 25 and the “Attaching Custom Adders

To Lists And Frameworks” sidebar on page 26.

When you have filled out this dialog, click OK

and the Multipower along with attached Modifiers

appears on the character sheet pane. The location

of the Multipower is determined in the same way as

adding an item to the character sheet described in

the “Adding An Item” section on page 11.

If you try to create a Multipower inside another

Framework or a List, a warning informs you that

the new Multipower will be placed outside of the

selection. The Multipower appears after the existing

Framework or List on the character sheet pane.

Once you have created a Multipower, you

can edit its name, base cost, Modifiers, Adders,

and attached notes by double-clicking on the

Multipower on the character sheet pane, by

highlighting the Multipower and clicking the Edit

button, or by right-clicking on the Multipower and

selecting Edit from the pop-up menu that appears.

By default, all items added to a Multipower are

created as fixed (in HERO System Sixth Edition

templates) or ultra (in HERO System Fifth Edition

templates) slots. To convert an item from a fixed

slot to a variable (in HERO System Sixth Edition

templates) or multi (in HERO System Fifth Edition

templates) slot, edit the item (as described in the

“Editing An Item” section on page 25) and uncheck

the Fixed Slot (Sixth Edition) or Ultra Slot (Fifth

Edition) box on the item’s dialog.

If you attempt to add an Power whose Active

Cost is greater than the Multipower’s reserve, a

warning appears informing you that the Power

will be added outside the Multipower. The Power

appears on the character sheet pane after the last

slot in the Multipower. Similarly, if you attempt to

add a Special Power, a warning appears informing

you that adding the Power to a Multipower is not

normally allowed. However, the Power is still added.

You can set Hero Designer to allow Special

Powers or to explicitly forbid such Powers with

campaign rules, as described in the “Campaign

Rules” section on page 36.

variable Power Pools

Like Elemental Controls and Multipowers, Hero

Designer implements Variable Power Pools as Lists.

Once you have created a Variable Power Pool, the

process of adding and removing items is exactly

like that described for Lists in the “Lists” section

on page 25. However, items in a Variable Power Pool

list are actually just sample Powers that can be built

with the Pool and will be shown with a cost of 0,

although the description of the item includes both

the Active and Real Cost of the Power.

To create a Variable Power Pool (VPP), select

New Variable Power Pool… from the Power

Frameworks menu on the character sheet menu bar

of the Powers tab.

The New Variable Power Pool dialog appears.

Enter the name that you want to assign to the

VPP in the Name field. If, for some reason, you

would like the Framework called something else

on the character sheet pane (for example, “VPP”),

edit the VPP Name field to reflect this. The Type

field identifies the type of the VPP. You can select

Gadget Pool, Magic Pool, or Mimic Pool from the

dropdown list or fill in the blank field with another

type.

The Pool Points field has a value selector box

used to set the number of points in the Pool. This

field determines how many Real Points of Powers

the character can use at one time. For HERO System

Fifth Edition templates, all sample Powers added to

the VPP must have an Active Cost that is equal to

or less than this value.

The Control Cost field in HERO System Sixth

Edition templates has a value selector box used to

set the maximum Active Cost for all Powers in this

VPP.

From this dialog, you can also attach any

Modifiers and Adders that you want to affect


Hero Designer 6th Edition Using Hero Designer ■ 29

either the reserve or the entire Framework. See the

“Attaching Modifiers To Lists And Frameworks”

sidebar on page 25 and the “Attaching Custom Adders

To Lists And Frameworks” sidebar on page 26.

When you have filled out this dialog, click OK

and the VPP along with the attached Modifiers

appears on the character sheet pane. The location of

the VPP is determined in the same way as adding

an item to the character sheet described in the

“Adding An Item” section on page 11.

If you attempt to create a VPP inside another

Framework or a List, a warning appears informing

you that the new VPP will be placed outside of

the selection. The VPP appears after the existing

Framework or List on the character sheet pane.

Once you have created a VPP, you can edit its

name, type, pool points, Modifiers, Adders, and

attached notes by either double-clicking on the

VPP on the character sheet pane, by highlighting

the VPP and clicking the Edit button, or by rightclicking

on the VPP and selecting Edit from the

pop-up menu that appears.

If you try to add an Power whose Active Cost

is greater than the value in Pool Points (for HERO

System Fifth Edition templates) or in Control

Cost (for HERO System Sixth Edition templates),

a warning appears informing you that the Power

will be added outside the VPP. The Power appears

on the character sheet pane after the last slot in

the VPP. Similarly, if you attempt to add a Special

Power, a warning appears informing you that

adding the Power to a VPP is not normally allowed.

However, the Power is still added.

You can set Hero Designer to allow Special

Powers or to explicitly forbid such Powers with

campaign rules, as described in the “Campaign

Rules” section on page 36.

Skill And Perk Enhancers

While Skill and Perk Enhancers are implemented

as a special form of List, their behavior is quite

different from the other forms.

To add a Skill Enhancer, select the desired

Enhancer from the Skill Enhancer menu on the

character sheet menu bar of the Skills tab.

The chosen Enhancer appears on the character

sheet pane on the appropriate tab. The location of

the Enhancer is determined in the same way as

adding an item to the character sheet described in

the “Adding An Item” section on page 11.

To add a Perk Enhancer, select the desired

Enhancer from the Perk Enhancer menu on the

character sheet menu bar of the Perks tab.

If that character sheet pane contains any

items affected by the Enhancer, those items are

immediately moved into a list beneath the Enhancer

and numbered appropriately. Any new Skills or

Perks added after this point that are affected by the

Enhancer are automatically added to this list.

You can remove an Enhancer by selecting

the Enhancer again from the Skill Enhancer or

Perk Enhancer menu. The Skills or Perks in the

Enhancer list are moved back into the normal list of

Skills or Perks on the character sheet pane.

You can delete both the Enhancer and the items

in its list by highlighting the Enhancer and clicking

the Delete button. You are prompted if you want to

the delete the list. Click Yes. You are then prompted

if you want to delete all items contained by the

Enhancer. Click Yes to delete both the Enhancer

and all items in its list. Click No to delete just the

Enhancer. Click Cancel to cancel the deletion.

If you have turned off the need for confirming

deletions on the Preferences dialog as described

in the “Application Preferences” section on page 33,

you will not be prompted as to whether you want to

delete the Enhancer, but you will still be prompted

as to whether you want to delete all items in the list.

As noted in the sidebar the “Attaching Custom

Adders To Lists And Frameworks” sidebar on page

26, you can use a combination of Lists and Custom

Adders to simulate new Enhancers.

When you select to use Skill Multipliers as

described in the “Campaign Rules” section on page

36, Skill Enhancers is replaced with Skill Multipliers

on the character sheet menu bar of the Skills tab.

The costs of Skills to which the Skill Multiplier

applies are calculated as per the Background Skill

Multiplier rules in the HERO System Fifth Edition

sourcebook The Ultimate Skill.

WORKINg WITH MULTIPLE

CHARACTERS

Hero Designer lets you work on multiple

characters at once. The Open Files menu shows the

names of all currently active characters. For each

character, it also lists the associated file name and

a keyboard equivalent. New Hero is displayed for

any new characters who do not yet have a name

assigned to them. To change to another character,


30 ■ Using Hero Designer Hero Designer 6th Edition

select that character from the Open Files menu or

type the character’s keyboard equivalent.

By using the techniques described in the

“Copying, Cutting, and Pasting” section on page 15,

you can move or copy abilities from one character

to another.

When you choose to create a new character with

one or more characters already loaded, the new

character defaults to using the same template as the

last character created or loaded.

COMBAT RECORDS

When you have one or more open characters,

Hero Designer lets you create a combat record that

summarizes some or all of the open characters.

Combat records are often used to create SPD charts

or single sheet character briefs for use during play.

The exact format and contents of a combat

record are determined by a combat record Export

Format. Full instructions on creating and modifying

combat record Export Formats are available in the

“Export Formats” chapter on page 52.

Exporting A Combat Record

To create and export a combat record, select

Combat Record Export… from the File menu.

The Combat Record Character Selection dialog

appears.

You can also choose how you want these

characters to be sorted. This is a two level sort.

Select the first level sorting method from the

Sort Characters By dropdown list and check the

Ascending checkbox beside that list if you want

the sort to be in ascending order as opposed to the

default descending order. Select the second level

sorting method from the Then By dropdown list

and corresponding checkbox. You can choose to

sort by Name, SPD, DEX, or Character Points.

When you have selected the characters to be

included and specified the sorting methods, click

Done.

The Select Export Template dialog appears

showing a list of available combat record Export

Formats. Click on a format name to choose a format

and see its description. Click Select to assign that

template to the character.

Next, a standard file selector dialog appears.

Choose the directory in which you want to save the

exported file, enter the file name for the exported

file in the File Name field and click Save. If the file

name has no extension, the first extension in the

list of acceptable extensions shown in the Files of

Type field (specified by the combat record Export

Format) is used by default.

To print the exported combat record, load the

exported file into the appropriate program and

follow the instructions in that program for printing.

You can also view, edit, or otherwise manipulate the

combat record as desired.

Previewing A Combat Record

To preview a combat record in your default web

browser (or other program associated with the

extensions specified in the Export Format), select

Preview Combat Record… from the File menu.

Select the characters to be included, the sorting

method to use, and the combat record Export

Format to use.

Hero Designer then launches your web browser

(or other appropriate program) with your character

loaded. Some Export Formats may not preview

properly.

SAvINg A CHARACTER

To save the current character, select Save from

the Current Character menu . A sub-menu appears

with the following items: Save Character, Save

Character As…, Save As Package Deal…, Save As

Prefab…, and Save As Template…. If the character

has not been previously saved or has not changed

since it was last saved, the Save Character item will

be grayed out.

Selecting Save Character automatically saves the

current character with the same file name and in

the same directory as when it was last saved. Typing

Ctrl-S is the same as selecting Current Character >

Save > Save Character.

Selecting Save Character As displays the Save

Character file selector dialog. Choose the directory

in which you want to save the character, enter the

file name in the File Name field and click Save. The

file is always saved with an .hdc extension. If you

specify any other file extension, it is replaced with

.hdc. Typing Alt-S is the same as selecting Current

Character > Save > Save Character As….

When a character is saved, the current character

template, and the assigned image, if any, are also

saved in the character file.

You can also save all open files by selecting

Save All Files from the File menu. This saves all

currently open files with the same file names and in


Hero Designer 6th Edition Using Hero Designer ■ 31

the same directories as when they were last saved.

If any of the currently open files have not been

previously saved, the Save Character file selector

dialog appears allowing you to specify a file name

and directory for saving the character.

For details on Save Character As Prefab…

and Save Character As Package Deal…, see the

“Prefabs And Package Deals” chapter on page 40. For

details on Save Character As Template…, see the

“Character Templates” chapter on page 43.

CLOSINg A CHARACTER

To close the current character, select Close

Character from the Current Character menu

or type Ctrl-W. If no changes have been made

since the character was last saved, the character is

simply closed. If changes have been made or the

character has never been saved, you are prompted

as to whether or not you want to save the character

before closing it. If you select No, all changes made

since the character was last saved are lost. If you

select Yes, the character is saved as described in the

previous section.

You can also close all open files by selecting

Close All Files from the File menu. As with Close

Character, you will be prompted as to whether or

not to save any new or changed characters before

closing.

If you exit Hero Designer without closing a

character and that character was previously saved,

the saved version of that character is automatically

loaded when you next run the program.

PREvIEWINg, ExPORTINg,

AND PRINTINg A

CHARACTER

Once you have created your character, you can

export it for printing, viewing, or editing with a web

browser, text editor, word processor, or other such

program. You can also preview the character before

exporting it to see what the exported character will

look like.

To export and preview characters, Hero

Designer uses Export Formats as described in the

“Export Formats” section on page 2. Full details

on creating and modifying Export Formats are

available in the “Export Formats” chapter on page 52.

Setting The Export Format

To set or change the Export Format associated

with a character, select Export from the Current

Character menu and then select Set Export

Format… from the sub-menu that appears or type

Ctrl+Alt-E. The Select Export Template dialog

appears showing a list of available Export Formats.

Click on a Export Format name to choose a format

and see its description. Click Select to assign that

Export Format to the character.

Exporting And Printing A

Character

To export a character, select Export from the

Current Character menu and then select Export

to File… from the sub-menu that appears or

type Ctrl-E. If no Export Format is set (either by

explicitly setting an Export Format or by previously

exporting or previewing the character), the Select

Export Template dialog appears as described above

to let you choose one. Next, a standard file selector

dialog appears. Choose the directory in which you

want to save the exported file, enter the file name

for the exported file in the File Name field and click

Save. If the file name has no extension, the first

extension in the list of acceptable extensions shown

in the Files of Type field (specified by the Export

Format) is used by default.

When the character has an image attached, you

are prompted as to whether or not you want to

include the image with the exported character (that

is, save it in the same directory). If you choose to

include the image, a standard file selector dialog

appears. Enter the file name to use for the image in

the File Name field and click Save. Hero Designer

can save the file in either JPG or GIF format based

on the file extension you specify. If you do not

specify a file extension, the image is saved with a

.jpg extension. If you specify an extension other

than .jpg or .gif, the image is saved in JPG format

with that extension, but you will need to change the

extension to .jpg to use the image.


32 ■ Using Hero Designer Hero Designer 6th Edition

When the character being exported has one or

more abilities that are associated with other Hero

Designer files (as described in the “Associating

Files” section on page 31), you are prompted as

to whether or not you also want to export the

associated files.

To print an exported character, load the

exported file into the appropriate program and

follow the instructions in that program for printing.

You can also view, edit, or otherwise manipulate the

file as desired.

Previewing A Character

To preview a character in your default web

browser (or other program associated with the

extensions specified in the Export Format), select

Export from the Current Character menu and

then select Preview Character… from the submenu

that appears or type Alt-E. If no Export

Format has been set (either by previously exporting

or previewing the character or by setting an Export

Format as described in the “Setting the Export

Format” section on page 31), the Select Export

Template dialog appears as described above to let

you choose one.

Hero Designer then launches your web browser

(or other appropriate program) with your character

loaded. Some Export Formats, such as the one

designed for use with the Hero Games discussion

boards, do not preview properly.

Printing To PDF

In addition to printing using an Export Format,

you can also print characters directly to PDF.

To print the current character to a PDF file,

select Print to PDF... from the Current Character

menu. A standard file selector dialog appears. Enter

the file name for the PDF file in the File Name field

and click Save. If you do not specify a file extension,

the file is saved with a .pdf extension. If you specify

an extension other than .pdf, the image is saved in

PDF format with that extension, but you may need

to change the extension to .pdf to display the file. If

the file is saved with a .pdf extension, that PDF file

is displayed once it has been created.

When printing to PDF, Export Formats are

not used instead characters are always printed

on character sheets resembling the blank sheets

included in the HERO System rulebooks. Characters

based on Fifth Edition templates are printed on

the sheet from the Fifth Edition rulebooks and

characters based on Sixth Edition templates

are printed on the sheet from the Sixth Edition

rulebooks.

You can see a PDF character sheet for a HERO

System Sixth Edition character below.


Hero Designer 6th Edition

Configuring Hero Designer ■ 33

CONFIgURINg

HERO DESIgNER

As briefly described in the “Basic Concepts”

chapter on page 2, there are two ways that

you can tailor Hero Designer to work the

way you want it to: applications preferences

and campaign rules.

APPLICATION

PREFERENCES

Application preferences let you change the

way Hero Designer and its interface work. These

changes do not affect the abilities available or the

way that Hero Designer interprets the HERO System

rules, but they may affect how those abilities are

presented.

To view or edit the current application

preferences, select Preferences from the File menu.

The Preferences dialog appears.

The number of tabs on the Preferences dialog

varies depending upon the current active character

template. If no character template is currently active

(that is, no characters are loaded) or a HERO System

Sixth Edition character template is currently active,

the Preferences dialog has five tabs: General,

System, Display, Modifier Intelligence, and

Prefabs. If a HERO System Fifth Edition character

template is currently active, the Preferences dialog

also has a Template tab.

general Preferences

The General tab of the Preferences dialog

includes five settings that affect the behavior of

Hero Designer when it starts. The screenshot below

shows the default settings for this tab.

The Restore window position on startup

checkbox specifies whether or not the size and

position of the main Hero Designer window are

preserved when you exit the program and restored

when you restart the program.

The Remember dialog position and size

checkbox specifies whether or not Hero Designer

uses the position and size of the previous dialog

when displaying a new dialog.

The Load characters on startup checkbox

specifies whether or not Hero Designer

automatically loads characters that were still open

when you last exited Hero Designer.

The Load prefabs on startup checkbox specifies

whether or not Hero Designer automatically loads

prefabs that were still open when you last exited

Hero Designer.

The Tab Placement dropdown list lets you

select where tabs are displayed for the main Hero

Designer window as well as any dialogs which use

tabs. From this dropdown list, you can select to

display tabs at the Top, Left, Bottom, or Right of

the window or dialog.

Finally, there is a slider which sets the amount of

memory available for use with Hero Designer. Hero

Designer is optimized to use 64 MB of memory and

while increasing the memory available can allow

more characters and Prefabs to be open at once, it

can also slow down the program. For this reason,

changing the available memory from 64 MB is not

recommended.

System Preferences

The System tab of the Preferences dialog

includes settings which affect the overall operation

of Hero Designer. The screenshot below displays the

default settings for this tab.

The Confirm deletions checkbox specifies

whether or not Hero Designer prompts you for

confirmation when you attempt to delete an item

from the character sheet pane. When this box is

unchecked, Hero Designer still prompts you as to

whether or not you want to delete all items in a list

or Framework.


34 ■ Configuring Hero Designer Hero Designer 6th Edition

The Warn on duplicate purchases checkbox

specifies whether or not Hero Designer issues a

warning when you attempt to purchase an ability

that you have already purchased.

The Use “Quick Assign” on abilities checkbox

specifies whether you can add an ability at its base

level without having that ability’s dialog displayed.

When this box is not checked, you can still add

these abilities without displaying their dialogs by

right-clicking on the ability in the available item list.

The Prompt to export image file when

exporting character checkbox specifies whether

or not Hero Designer prompts you to export an

attached image file when exporting a character.

When this box is not checked, Hero Designer

automatically exports the attached image file.

The Refresh character template from file

during load dropdown list describes how Hero

Designer handles loading a character whose

character template has changed since the character

was saved. There are three possible settings: Always,

Prompt, and Never. When Always is selected, a

changed character template is always refreshed

from the original template file when a character

is loaded. When Prompt is selected, the user is

prompted as to whether or not to refresh a changed

character template. When Never is selected, a

changed character template is never refreshed from

the original file.

The Refresh campaign rules from file during

load dropdown list describes the behavior of Hero

Designer whose attached

campaign rules have

changed since the character

was saved. There are three

possible settings: Always,

Prompt, and Never. When

Always is selected, changed

campaign rules are always

refreshed from the original

campaign rules file when a

character is loaded. When

Prompt is selected, the user

is prompted as to whether

or not to refresh changed

campaign rules. When

Never is selected, a changed

campaign rules are never

refreshed from the original

file.

The Number of decimal

places for rounding field

specifies the number of

digits Hero Designer

calculates to before

rounding.

The Character template

directory, Default

Campaign Rules directory,

and Default Export

Template directory fields

specify the directories

in which Hero Designer

will look for character

templates, campaign rules, and Export Formats,

respectively You can either enter directory names

directly in the text boxes provided or you can use

the Browse buttons to find the desired directories

using a standard file selector.

Finally, there are several fields which specify the

default Export Formats to be used with the specified

built-in character templates.

Display Preferences

The Display tab of the Preferences dialog

includes six settings which affect how abilities are

displayed on the character sheet pane and thus, how

they are exported. The screenshot below shows the

default settings for this tab.


Hero Designer 6th Edition Configuring Hero Designer ■ 35

The Use strict Writers’ Guidelines compliance

checkbox specifies whether or not Hero Designer

displays abilities in a format as close to that of

the Hero Games Writers’ Guidelines as possible.

Normally, Hero Designer displays additional

information for some abilities and Modifiers.

The Use metric units of measurement for

character height and weight checkbox specifies

whether or not Hero Designer uses metric

measurements for entering and displaying the

height and weight of a character as well as the

weight of equipment. If this box is unchecked,

English units are used instead.

The Display Active Points on abilities (by

default) checkbox specifies whether or not Hero

Designer defaults to automatically displaying the

Active Points of any ability to which Modifiers have

been attached. The Display Active Points checkbox,

which normally appears on an ability’s dialog when

you attach a Modifier is automatically checked.

It can still be unchecked if you don’t want Active

Points displayed for a particular ability.

The Show Common Limitations in slots on

Lists/Frameworks checkbox specifies whether or

not Hero Designer displays Limitations which apply

to all slots of a Framework or list on each slot.

The Use Abbreviations (where available)

checkbox specifies whether or not Hero Designer

will display commonly-used abbreviations for

certain abilities or Modifiers. For example, DI

is displayed instead of Density Increase. When

the Use strict Writers’ Guidelines compliance

checkbox is also checked, only those abbreviations

allowed by the Writers’ Guidelines are included.

The Show Popup definitions in selection lists

checkbox specifies whether or not you can view an

ability’s definition by simply moving your mouse

over the ability’s name in a selection list.

Note that changing these settings only affects

those abilities added after the change is made. The

change has no effect on abilities already added.

Modifier Intelligence

Preferences

The Modifier Intelligence tab of the Preferences

dialog has three checkboxes that define how

Hero Designer handles Modifier intelligence. The

screenshot below shows the default settings for

these checkboxes.

The Use ‘Modifier Intelligence’ checkbox

specifies whether or not Hero Designer uses

Modifier intelligence when determining what

Modifiers can be attached to abilities. When this

box is unchecked, Modifier intelligence is still used

to separate out non-recommended Modifiers but

these Modifiers are still available to be attached.

Additionally, if this box is unchecked, the other two

settings in this section are grayed out and have no

effect.

The Check Modifiers during ability edit

checkbox specifies whether or not Hero Designer

examines all Modifiers attached to an ability for

validity each time you edit that ability. When this

box is unchecked, Hero Designer also does not

check Modifiers for validity when a character is

loaded. Additionally, if this box is unchecked, the

Remove Modifiers which fail validity check setting

is grayed out and has no effect.

The Remove Modifiers which fail validity

check checkbox specifies whether or not Hero

Designer automatically removes Modifiers that it

does not consider valid for an ability.

Prefabs Settings

The Prefabs tab of the Preferences dialog

includes two settings that deal with how Hero

Designer handles Prefabs. The screenshot below

displays the default settings for this tab.

The Show Powers Prefabs on the Equipment

Tab checkbox specifies whether or not Powers

stored in Prefabs are displayed on the Equipment

tab as well as the Powers tab.

The Show Equipment Prefabs on the Powers

Tab specifies whether or not equipment stored in

Prefabs is displayed on the Powers tab as well as the

Equipment tab.

Template Preferences

When the currently active character template

is a HERO System Fifth Edition template, the

Preferences dialog also includes a Template tab.

This tab displays a list of HERO System Fifth

Edition sourcebooks and other sources from which

Hero Designer Fifth Edition character templates

draw the abilities available in various selection lists.

When the checkbox for a source listed on this tab

is checked, Hero Designer includes the abilities

defined in that source. When the checkbox is

HERO gAMES

WRITERS’

gUIDELINES

The Hero Games Writers’

Guidelines (available at

www.herogames.com/get/

WritersGuidelines.pdf)

describe the format to be

used when submitting

character sheets and other

write-ups for publication.

When Use strict Writers’

Guidelines compliance

is selected, Hero Designer

displays and exports all

abilities in a format as

close as possible to the

Writers’ Guidelines.

This option works best

with Export Formats that

also follow the Writers’

Guidelines. There are still

a few idiosyncrasies in

the Writers’ Guidelines

that can’t be generated

by Hero Designer. Thus,

when submitting character

sheets produced by Hero

Designer for publication

by Hero Games, you

should double check

those sheets to ensure that

they fully meet Writers’

Guidelines requirements

and edit them manually if

they do not.


36 ■ Configuring Hero Designer Hero Designer 6th Edition

not checked, those abilities are not included. The

screenshot below displays the default settings for

this tab.

When there are no characters loaded or the

currently active character template is a HERO

System Sixth Edition template, this tab does not

appear on the Preferences dialog.

CAMPAIgN RULES

Almost every HERO System campaign operates

under slightly different rules. Sometimes the

difference is simply a matter of different point

limits. Sometimes, it’s the use of Active Point limits.

Other times, it’s the use of options listed in a HERO

System rulebook or sourcebook. With all of these

possibilities, it can sometimes be difficult to keep

track of what limits and

options are in use in a given

campaign.

To make this task easier,

Hero Designer lets you

create sets of campaign

rules that you can assign

to characters to enforce

campaign-related options.

Once you have defined a

set of rules for a campaign,

you can attach those

rules to each individual

character created for that

campaign. If that character

is then moved to another

campaign, you can attach

the campaign rules for

that new campaign to

the character and the old

rules will be replaced. You

can then ensure that the

character is in line with the

new campaign rules.

To view or edit the campaign rules for the

current character, select Campaign Rules from the

Current Character menu and then select View/

Edit Campaign Rules from the sub-menu that

appears. The View/Edit Rules dialog appears.

At the top of this dialog is the Ruleset Name

field. When you are viewing or editing a set of

campaign rules that was previously attached to

the character, the name assigned to those rules is

displayed in this field. When no campaign rules

have been attached to the current character, this

field is blank.

When the current character is based on a HERO

System Fifth Edition character template, the View/

Edit Rules dialog has three tabs: Point Limits,

Rules, and Settings. When the current character is

based on a Sixth Edition template, the dialog also

has a Characteristic Maxima tab.

Point Limits Tab

The Point Limits tab lets you specify a variety

of point limits for a campaign. These point limits

apply to all characters to which this set of rules is

attached. The screenshot below shows the default

values for this tab.

For each point limit, you can select Ignore,

Warn, or Do not allow from the associated

dropdown list. If you select Ignore, Hero Designer

takes no action when the point limit is exceeded.

If you select Warn, a warning is displayed when

the point limit is displayed. If you select Do not

allow, Hero Designer does not permit you to add

any ability that would cause the point limit to be

exceeded.

Note that the screenshot is for HERO System

Sixth Edition character templates; when the current

character is based on a HERO System Fifth Edition


Hero Designer 6th Edition Configuring Hero Designer ■ 37

character template, the term “Disadvantage” or

“Disad” is used in place of “Complication”.

Characteristic Maxima Tab

The Characteristic Maxima tab is only available

when the current character is based on a HERO

System Sixth Edition character template. This

tab lets you specify the campaign maximum (if

any) for each Characteristic. The maximum for a

Characteristic represents the point where, when

exceeded, the Characteristic begins to cost double.

Rules Tab

The Rules tab lets you implement several

optional rules (such as the Language Familiarity

Chart and cost multipliers) and alter how Hero

Designer interprets other rules. The screenshot

below shows the defaults values for this tab for

HERO System Sixth Edition character templates.

Many of the rules on this tab are turned on or

off by checking or unchecking the corresponding

checkbox. For example, if you want to allow the

use of the Standard Effect rule in your campaign,

you would check the Standard Effect allowed

checkbox.

If the campaign uses the optional Skill Maxima

rule, check the Use Normal Skill Maxima Limit

checkbox and set the maximum Skill Roll value.

Beyond this value, increasing a Skill Roll costs

double. Similarly, if the optional Background

Skill Multiplier rule is in use, check the Use Skill

Multiplier check box.

You can also use this tab to change how

Characteristic Rolls and Skill Rolls are calculated

by specifying different values for their bases and

denominator. For example, if you want Skill Rolls

to be calculated as 8+(CHAR/3) instead of as

9+(CHAR/5), you would set the Skill Roll Base

field to 8 and the Skill Roll Denominator field to 3.

For other rules, there is a dropdown list to

determine the action taken by Hero Designer in

certain situations. These dropdown lists are similar

to the ones described in the “Point Limits Tab”

section on page 36. For example, you can set Hero


38 ■ Configuring Hero Designer Hero Designer 6th Edition

Designer not to react to linking different slots of

a Power Framework by selecting Ignore from the

Linking different slots of a Power Framework

dropdown list.

When the current character is based on a HERO

System Fifth Edition character template, the Rules

tab contains additional rules options for features

like Elemental Controls and Figured Characteristics

that are not part of the HERO System Sixth Edition

rules.

Settings Tab

The Settings tab includes a variety of additional

settings that will be applied to characters to which

this set of rules is attached. The screenshot below

shows the defaults values for this tab.

The Active Points per END field specifies

how many Active Points of an endurance-using

ability (except STR) cost 1 END to use. The Active

Points per END (STR) does the same thing for

STR. By default, both these fields are set to 10 for

superheroic templates and to 10 and 5, respectively,

for heroic and normal templates.

When the Equipment Allowed checkbox is

checked, the Equipment tab becomes available for

all characters to which these campaign rules are

attached. Additionally, when this box is checked,

several equipment-related fields become available.

The Monetary Units field lets you specify the

symbol or string that represent monetary units in

your campaign. For example, you might specify “$”

for a modern Champions campaign, “GP” (for gold

pieces) for a Fantasy Hero campaign, or “Cr” (for

credits) for a Star Hero campaign.

The Prepend unit string to value checkbox

specifies where the symbol or string specified where

the Monetary Units field should appear in relation

to a monetary value. When this box is checked,

the string or symbol appears before the value (for

example, $1.00). When it is unchecked, the string or

symbol appears after the value (for example, 1GP).

The # CU per $1 field specifies the value of 1

current monetary unit in the generic currency units

used by Hero Designer to track prices. The $1 in

this field’s name is altered based on the value of the

Monetary Units field. For example, if Monetary

Units is set to “GP” and the Prepend unit string to

value checkbox is unchecked, the field name will be

# CU per 1GP.

The purpose of this value is to allow easy

conversions between currency. For example,

suppose an American GM creates a prefab full of

modern day equipment with prices in American

dollars and a # CU per $1 setting of “1” in the

campaign rules. This GM then shares the prefab

with a British GM who likes the prefab but would

prefer the prices to be in British pounds. To

accomplish this, the British GM simply sets the

# CU per ₤1 field in his campaign rules to “1.57”

(the current value of a British pound in American

dollars). Thus, when adding equipment from

the prefab to characters with these campaign

rules attached, the prices

of the equipment will

automatically be displayed

in British pounds.

The decimal places field

specifies how many decimal

places will be displayed

for monetary values. For

example, for American

dollars, you would likely set

this field to “2”, yielding a

display of $1.00, while for

fantasy gold pieces, you

would likely set this field

to “0”, yielding a display of

1GP.

Finally, the Notes Tabs

section allows you to add

up to five additional tabs

to the main Hero Designer

window. Each new tab is

essentially one large text

box in which information

about the character not

included on other tabs

can be entered. To add a

new tab, check the Enable

checkbox for the tab and

enter the desired title for

the new tab in the Tab Title

field. By default, the five


Hero Designer 6th Edition

Configuring Hero Designer ■ 39

available new tabs are titled Notes 1, Notes 2, …

Notes 5.

It is important to note that information entered

on these additional tabs will not be exported unless

the Export Format selected specifically exports the

information from those tabs.

If the current character is based on a HERO

System Fifth Edition character template, this tab

will include two additional checkboxes which let

you specify if NCM (Normal Character Maxima) is

automatically applied to all characters and whether

or not the NCM choice can be changed on a

character by character basis. For more information

on Normal Characteristic Maxima in HERO System

Fifth Edition, see “Characteristic Maxima” on page 8.

Saving Campaign Rules

Once you have set up your campaign rules, you

must save them before they have any effect.

If you are modifying an existing set of campaign

rules (other than the default rules), two buttons will

be available on the View/Edit Rules dialog: Save

and Save As….

Clicking the Save button saves the campaign

rules with the same name under which they were

previously saved.

Clicking the Save As… button launches a

standard file selector. Choose the directory in which

you want to save the character, enter the file name

in the File Name field and click Save.

In either case, the campaign rules are saved with

a .hdr extension.

When you are creating a new set of campaign

rules, only the Save As… button is available.

Once you have saved a set of campaign rules,

those rules are automatically applied to the current

active character. The status line at the bottom of

the Hero Designer window is updated to show the

name of the new campaign rules attached.

To exit the View/Edit Rules dialog without

saving the rules and applying them to the current

active character, either click Cancel or close the

dialog.

Attaching Campaign Rules

To A Character

As mentioned in the previous section, when you

save campaign rules, those rules are then attached

to the current active character.

To attach an existing set of campaign rules to

the current active character, select Load Campaign

Rules… from the Campaign Rules menu. A

standard file selector dialog appears. Select the file

containing the campaign rules you want to load and

click Load Campaign Rules to load that file and

apply the rules. The status line at the bottom of the

Hero Designer window is updated to show the new

of campaign rules as being attached.

To attach the default HERO System campaign

rules to the current active character, select Set to

Hero System Default from the Campaign Rules

menu. The default campaign rules are applied to the

character and the status line is updated.


40 ■ Prefabs And Package Deals Hero Designer 6th Edition

PREFABS AND

PACKAgE DEALS

As briefly described in the “Basic Concepts”

chapter on page 2, a Prefab is a Hero

Designer file that contains lists of abilities

and Disadvantages that you want to make

available for multiple characters to chose items

from.

Similarly, a Package Deal (also briefly described

in the “Basic Concepts” chapter) is a Hero Designer

file containing a set of Characteristic modifications,

abilities, and Complications (or Disadvantages

for characters built on HERO System Fifth Edition

character templates) that can be added in total (that

is, all items in the Package Deal are added) to any

character.

Hero Designer Package Deals are most

commonly used for implementing Package Deals

from HERO System Fifth Edition and Templates

from HERO System Sixth Edition, which are the

same concept with two different names.

PREFABS

Possible uses for Prefabs include Martial Arts

styles, equipment lists, spell lists, lists of Everyman

Skills, lists of common Complications, and so on.

Basically, any time that you have a list of abilities or

Disadvantages that you want to use with more than

one character, you may find it useful to put those

items in a Prefab.

For details on sharing Prefabs and Package Deals

with other users, see the “Sharing Hero Designer

Files” sidebar on page 3.

Creating A Prefab

To create a Prefab, select New Prefab from the

File menu. A blank form similar to a character form

appears. Unlike a character form, this form has no

Background or Characteristics tabs, because the

information on these tabs is not used in Prefabs.

The Basic Info tab has two fields. In the Prefab

Name field, enter the name of the Prefab. In the

Created By field, enter your name, e-mail address,

or other identifying information. The Created By

field lets other users with whom you may share this

Prefab know who created it.

Using this character form, add the abilities and

Complications that you to want to include in the

Prefab. You do this in the same way that you add

abilities and Complications to a character. Any

abilities with costs that normally may depend upon

a character’s point total (for example, the Follower

and Vehicle & Bases Perks) have their costs

calculated based on a point total of 0. When these

abilities are added to a character from the Prefab,

their costs are recalculated based on that character’s

point total.

You may find it handy to organize some of the

items in the Prefab into lists because, as discussed in

the “Using Prefabs” section on page 41, you can add

an entire List or Framework from a Prefab with a

single action.

For example, if you were using Prefabs to store

Martial Arts styles, you could do it in one of two

ways. You could create a separate Prefab for each

style or you could create one Prefab that contained

all the styles. When using the latter method, you

would create a List for each style and put all the

Martial Maneuvers for that style in the List.

As another example, suppose you were creating a

Prefab for a Package Deal that gives you a choice of

one of three particular Skills. In this case, you might

put those Skills in a List named “Choose one of”.

Once you have entered all the items that you

want to include in the Prefab, it is time to save

the Prefab. This is just like saving a character, as

described in the “Saving A Character” section on

page 30, except that the sub-menu of the Save item on

the Current Prefab menu contains Save Prefab and

Save Prefab As instead of Save Character and Save

Character As. By default, the name of the Prefab


Hero Designer 6th Edition Prefabs And Package Deals ■ 41

file will be the same as the name of the Prefab. The

Prefab file is saved with a .hdp extension.

CREATINg A PREFAB FROM A CHARACTER

As an alternative, you can create a Prefab from a

character. To do so, simply create or load a character

that has the abilities and Complications you want

to include in the Prefab. Note that anything on the

Basic Info, Background, and Characteristics tabs

will not be included in the Prefab.

To turn this character into a Prefab, select Save

from the Current Character menu and then Save

As Prefab… from the sub-menu that appears or

type Alt-P. The Save As Prefab dialog appears

prompting you to enter the name for the Prefab.

This is not the name of the file that is going to

contain the Prefab but rather the name that will

be used to refer to the Prefab in the Prefab menu.

Enter the Prefab name and click OK. A standard

file selector dialog appears. Choose the directory

in which you want to store the Prefab file and enter

the desired name for the file in the File Name field

and click Save. The Prefab file is saved with a .hdp

extension.

Loading And Unloading

Prefabs

To load a Prefab, select Load Prefabs… from

the Prefabs menu or type Ctrl-L. A standard file

selector dialog appears. Select the file containing the

Prefab you want to load and click Load Prefab. The

selected Prefab is loaded and will remain loaded

until it is explicitly unloaded. If you exit Hero

Designer with one or more Prefabs loaded, those

Prefabs will be loaded automatically when you

next restart the program (unless you have specified

otherwise on the Preferences dialog as described in

the “Application Preferences” section on page 33).

To unload a Prefab, go to the Prefabs menu and

move the mouse down to Unload Prefab. A list of

currently loaded Prefabs appears to the right of the

menu. Click on the name of the Prefab you want to

unload and that Prefab is unloaded.

Using Prefabs

Once you have loaded one or more Prefabs, you

can add any of the abilities or Complications in

those Prefabs to any active character.

To see the list of available items in the loaded

Prefabs that you can add to a given tab’s character

sheet, select that tab and then select the Prefabs

subtab on the right pane. If the loaded Prefabs do

not contain any items that can be added on that tab,

the available item list is empty. Otherwise, you will

see the list of items in the Prefab that can be added

on the current tab.

The Prefab item list is shown in tree format with

folders being used to represent both Prefabs and

Lists within the Prefabs. For example, suppose you

had a Prefab named Science Skills that contained a

collection of various science skills. With this Prefab

loaded, the first time you look at the Prefabs subtab

of the Skills tab, you would see the following:

As you can see from the screenshot, it just shows

a folder for the entire Prefab. You can open and

close this or any other folder by clicking on the

symbol to the left of the folder icon. After opening

this folder, the Prefabs subtab looks like this:

You can now add any item from the Prefabs

subtab in the same way as you would add any other

item (see “Adding An Item” on page 11). However,

no dialog appears when you add an item from a

Prefab. Items in Prefabs include any name, options,

Modifiers, Adders, or notes set for the item when it

was originally added to the Prefab.

Editing A Prefab

Occasionally, you will find that you need to

go back and edit a Prefab. Usually, this is either

to correct an error or to add new abilities or

Complications.

To edit a Prefab, select Open Prefab… from the

File menu. A standard file selector dialog appears.

Select the file containing the character you want to

load and click Open Prefab to load that file as well

as the associated character template and campaign

rules.

Make the desired changes to the Prefab’s

contents and save the Prefab as described in the

“Creating A Prefab” section on page 40.


42 ■ Prefabs And Package Deals Hero Designer 6th Edition

PACKAgE DEALS

In some ways, Package Deals are similar to

Prefabs in that they are collections of items that

can be added to any Hero Designer character.

However, unlike Prefabs, which essentially provide

lists of items for users to choose individual items

from, Package Deals are applied in whole to a

character. Package Deals are particularly useful for

representing things like professions, cultures, and

fantasy or alien races and other groups represented

by Package Deals (in HERO System Fifth Edition) or

Templates (in HERO System Sixth Edition).

Creating Package Deals

To create a Package Deal, you create a

character with the Characteristics, abilities, and

Disadvantages that a basic character with that

Package Deal would have. Next, load any Prefabs

that you want included as part of the Package Deal.

Prefabs in Package Deals are useful for representing

lists of abilities that can be chosen from.

For example, many HERO System Package Deals

and Templates include lists like “Choose two of the

following skills”. Such lists are best implemented

as Prefabs that will be stored as part of the Package

Deal.

Finally, to save that character as a Package Deal,

select Save from the Current Character menu and

then select Save As Package Deal … from the submenu

that appears. The Enter Package Deal Name

dialog appears prompting you to enter the name

for the Package Deal. This is not necessarily the

name of the file that is going to contain the Package

Deal but rather the name of the deal itself. Enter

the Package Deal name and click OK. A standard

file selector dialog appears. Choose the directory in

which you want to store the Package Deal file and

enter the desired name for the file in the File Name

field and click Save. If you have any Prefabs loaded,

you are prompted as to whether or not you want

those Prefabs saved as part of the Package Deal. The

Package Deal file is saved with a .hpk extension.

It should be noted here that the Characteristics

entered when creating a Package Deal are those of

a basic character that has that deal. That is, the only

differences in Characteristics from the base values

are those that are a result of that deal.

For example, if a Package Deal gives +2 STR,

you should enter 12 in the Value field for STR on

the Characteristics tab When this deal is applied (as

described in the next session) to a character, Hero

Designer adjusts each Characteristic’s Value field by

the difference between that Characteristic’s Value

and Base fields in the Package Deal.

Applying Package Deals

To apply a Package Deal to a character,

select Apply Package Deal… from the Current

Character menu. The Apply Package Deal file

selector appears. Select the Package Deal you want

to apply and click Apply Package Deal.

When a Package Deal is applied, the current

character’s Characteristics are adjusted as

described in the previous section and any abilities

or Complications in the Package Deal are added

to the character. In addition, any Prefabs that

were included in the Package Deal will be loaded,

allowing to select items from those Prefabs to add

to the character.

Editing Package Deals

Currently, Hero Designer does not provide any

method for editing Package Deals. However, if

you save the “character” you are using as the basis

for your Package Deal as a character (with a .hdc

extension) before you save it as a Package Deal, you

can reload that character , edit it, and then resave it

as both a character and as a Package Deal (using the

same file names as when you first saved them). You

have then effectively edited your Package Deal.


Hero Designer 6th Edition

Character Templates ■ 43

CHARACTER

TEMPLATES

As briefly described in the “Basic Concepts”

chapter on page 2, character templates are

XML (Extensible Markup Language) files

that define various aspects of the rules used

to build HERO System characters. This includes

the points available to build a character as well as

a complete list of Characteristics, abilities (Skills,

Powers, Perks, and so forth), Complications (or

Disadvantages), and Modifiers (Advantages and

Limitations) along with their costs.

Because the character template also defines

exactly what options are available for abilities and

Modifiers as well as the relationships between

different abilities and Modifiers, you can change

how Hero Designer interprets the HERO System

rules by creating custom versions of the standard

templates. This chapter provides an overview of the

structure and format of character templates so that

you can create your own by either editing a copy of

one of the standard templates or creating your own

template from scratch. See the “Copies Of Standard

Character Templates” sidebar for more information

about copies of the standard templates.

There are two methods for creating a character

template: saving a character as a template and

creating a character template from scratch.

SAvINg A CHARACTER AS

A TEMPLATE

When your template does not involve making

any changes to the standard HERO System rules,

it is easiest to create it by saving a character as a

template. For example, if all the characters in a

given campaign will be created using the same

campaign rules, have the same Everyman Skills, and

have a common set of campaign-specific Perks and

Complications, you may want to use this method to

create a character template that can then be used to

create all characters for that campaign.

To do so, create a new character with the

desired starting Characteristics, abilities, and

Complications.

Next, assign the desired set of campaign rules

(if any) and load any prefabs you want to have

available to all characters built with the template.

Finally, select Save from the Current Character

menu and then select Save Character As

Template... from the sub-menu that appears. The

Enter Template Name dialog appears prompting

you to enter the name for the character template.

This is not necessarily the name of the file that is

going to contain the template but rather the name

of the template itself. Enter the template name and

click OK. A standard file selector dialog appears.

Choose the directory in which you want to store the

character template file and enter the desired name

for the file in the File Name field and click Save.

If you have any prefabs loaded, you are

prompted as to whether or not you want those

prefabs saved as part of the template. The character

template file is saved with a .hdt extension.

You may also want to save the “character” you

used to created the character template as a character

file (with a .hdc extension), so that if you want

to make changes to the template, you can edit

the saved character then resave it as a character

template.

Creating A Template From

Scratch

If you want to create a character template that

requires changes to the standard HERO System

rules, you should consider creating a new custom

character template from scratch.

You can edit or create a character template

using any standard text editor such as the Notepad

application on Windows systems or the VI editor on

Linux and UNIX systems. Once you have finished

editing or creating a template, be sure to save the

template with a .hdt extension. Only files with a .hdt

extension are recognized as character templates.

While the following sections describe the

structure of a character template and define the

containers and attributes used in the template, a

greater understanding can be obtained by viewing

the copies of the standard templates provided, so

you can see how these items are actually used.

COPIES OF

STANDARD

CHARACTER

TEMPLATES

You can get copies of the

standard Hero Designer

character templates by

extracting the .hdt files

from the HDv3.jar file

using WinZip or a similar

program for unzipping

archives. This is best done

in a directory other than

the Hero Designer install

directory.

As an alternative, you can

send an e-mail message

to support@herodesigner.

com and ask for the latest

version of the templates.


44 ■ Character Templates Hero Designer 6th Edition

CUSTOM

TEMPLATES

FROM PREvIOUS

vERSIONS

Due to the redesign of

how character templates

work, it is strongly

recommended that you not

use any Hero Designer v1

custom templates. Hero

Designer v2 templates

should work without

problem if they were

created as extensions to

the built-in templates.

Templates for HERO

System Fifth Edition

characters may need

editing before being used

with HERO System Sixth

Edition characters.

The Hierarchical Structure of

Character Templates

Hero Designer character templates use a

hierarchical structure. That is, one character

template can be defined as an extension of another

template. When a character template is defined

in this way, it need only describe the differences

between it and the other template. Such templates

are called extension templates.

The standard templates are all defined in this

manner. They are extensions of the built-in Main.

hdt template.

It is recommended that you create a custom

template as an extension template based on an

existing built-in template. This ensures not only that

all users of the custom template have the template

on which it is based but that you need only define

the differences from the built-in template. This

latter benefit means not only less work for you but

makes it much easier for another user to understand

what is customized in the template. Finally, if the

built-in template is updated, those changes are

automatically inherited by the extension template.

For more information on creating extension

templates, see the “Creating Extension Templates”

on page 50.

xML Basics

As noted earlier, character templates use XML.

An XML document is comprised of “containers”.

Containers have the form:





Each container begins with an opening tag (such

as and ) and ends

with a corresponding closing tag (such as

and ). As a shorthand for

containers that do not contain anything, you can

use the following format:


Note the / before the closing >. That ends the

empty container.

As you can see from the basic format shown

above, containers may contain other containers.

This nesting structure can go as deeply as you want.

Additionally, containers can have attributes. An

attribute is a simple name/value pair. The name of

the attribute must be unique within the tag. The

value of the attribute must be surrounded by double

quotes.

Finally, all names in XML are case-sensitive, so

TAGNAME is a different name from TagName.

Structure Of A Character

Template

The basic structure of a Hero Designer character

template is as follows:






























Each of these containers defines a major section

of the template. These sections are discussed later in

this chapter.

COMMON ATTRIBUTES

The following attributes are used throughout

character templates:

XMLID: All items defined in the template

should have this attribute. Its value can be

any string, but the string must be unique

within the item’s context. For example, if

you’re defining a Modifier, the XMLID must

be unique within the context of all Modifiers.

There are cases where you may want to

repeat a given XMLID (that is, have it not

be unique), such as when you want a new

Modifier to replace an existing one.

Items which have unique containers (such

as ACROBATICS or ABSORPTION)

automatically have an XMLID which is the

same as the container name.

DISPLAY: This attribute specifies the initial

display value for the item. Any string value

can be used here. Usually, this is the name of

the item.

BASECOST: The cost or value for the item. For

example, for Powers, this is the base cost to

purchase the Power. For Modifiers, it is the


Hero Designer 6th Edition Character Templates ■ 45

value of the Modifier. Any decimal value can

be inserted here (positive or negative).

MINCOST: This attribute specifies the

minimum cost or value for the item.

MAXCOST: This attribute specifies the

maximum cost or value for the item.

LVLCOST: This attribute specifies the cost to

increase a level with the item. Any decimal

value can be used here. For example, most

standard Skills have a LVLCOST of 2, that is,

it costs 2 points to add a +1 to the Skill Roll.

LVLVAL: This attribute specifies the value of

increasing a level. For example, in HERO

System Sixth Edition, STUN increases (by

default) 2 points for every Character Point.

The template represents this as

LVLCOST=“1” LVLVAL=“2”. Any integer

value can be used here.

LVLPOWER: This attribute is used for “Powerbased”

items. If you want an ability to

increase by 2x for each level, you would use

this tag, setting its value to “2”. Any integer

value can be used here.

LVLMULTIPLIER: This attribute, if present,

causes the levels to be multiplied (once) by

the specified value. Any integer value can be

used here.

LVLSTART: This attribute specifies the default

starting level for an item.

MINVAL: This attribute specifies the minimum

level for the item.

MAXVAL: The attribute specifies the maximum

level for the item.

USESEND: This attribute specifies whether or

not the ability uses END. Valid values are

“Yes” or “No”.

APPEREND: This attribute specifies the Active

Points per point of END for the item. This

value will only be used for STR or items

purchased as Powers. Any integer value can

be used here. If you specify the APPEREND

attribute for STR or a Power in a template, it

overrides any END cost settings specified in

the current campaign rules.

INPUTLABEL: This attributes specifies the label

for a field on the item’s dialog that requires

input from the user. Any string can be

specified here.

OTHERINPUT: This attributes specifies

whether the user can specify their own input

or whether they must use one of the provided

values. Valid values are “Yes” and “No”.

ALLOWSOTHERMODIFIERS: This attribute

specifies whether non-specific Modifiers can

be added to this item. Valid values are “Yes”

and “No”. If it is set to “Yes”, there will be an

Add Modifier… button on the item’s dialog.

ALLOWSOTHERADDERS: This attribute

specifies whether or not non-specific Adders

can be added to this ability. Valid values are

“Yes” and “No”. If it is set to “Yes”, there will

be a Custom Adder button on the item’s

dialog.

EXCLUSIVE: This attribute specifies whether

the item can normally be purchased more

than once within its given context. Valid

values are “Yes” and “No”.

SHOWDIALOG: This attribute specifies

whether or not to display the item’s dialog

when the item is added. Valid values are

“Yes” and “No”. This attribute has no effect

when “Quick Assign” is turned off on the

Preferences dialog as described in the

“Application Preferences” section on page 33. It

can be used in all sections but the POWERS

section.

ABBREVIATION: This attribute specifies the

abbreviation for the item. This value is only

used when abbreviations are enabled on

the Preferences dialog as described in the

“Application Preferences” section on page 33.

WGABBREVIATION: This attribute

specifies the abbreviation to use when

both abbreviations and writers’ guidelines

compliance are enabled on the Preferences

dialog as described in the “Application

Preferences” section on page 33.

WARNSIGN: This attribute specifies whether

a warning sign appears beside the ability’s

name in the available item pane. Valid values

are “Yes” and “No”.

STOPSIGN: This attribute specifies whether a

stop sign appears beside the ability’s name in

the available item pane. Valid values are “Yes”

and “No”.

COMMON SUBCONTAINERS

The following subcontainers are used

throughout character templates:

OPTION: This subcontainer is used to present

the user with a list of options for defining the

Power. Base Cost, Level Cost, and so forth

can all be specified on an option by option

basis.

Each option must have an XMLID attribute

assigned to it which is unique within the

context of the item. Options can contain

Modifiers and Adders which will only appear

when the user selects that option. If an option

has a definition assigned to it, the definition

of the main ability will be swapped out when

the option is selected.

DEFINITION: This subcontainer defines the

definition for the item. Any text can be used

here for the container’s contents.

ADDER: Use this subcontainer to define any

Adders which are available for the ability.

Each ADDER container should specify at

least the XMLID (unique within the context

of the item), DISPLAY, BASECOST, and

EXCLUSIVE attributes. You may also specify

the various level parameters defined above.


46 ■ Character Templates Hero Designer 6th Edition

BASIC INFO FIELDS

The following list shows

the subcontainers that can

be specified to label fields

on the Basic Info tab:

■ NAME1

■ NAME2

■ CAMPAIGN

■ GENRE

■ PLAYER

■ GM

BACKgROUND

FIELDS

The following list shows

the subcontainers that can

be specified to label fields

on the Background tab:

■ EYE_COLOR

■ HAIR_COLOR

■ BACKGROUND

■ PERSONALITY

■ QUOTE

■ TACTICS

■ USE

■ APPEARANCE

An ADDER may contain other ADDER

containers, giving a hierarchical structure

similar to that which is found in abilities like

Transport Familiarity.

Adders can contain EXCLUDES and

REQUIRES containers which define the

XMLIDs of other Adders which are either

excluded or required by this Adder.

Up to six Adders per ability may contain

a REQUIRED attribute. Valid values for

REQUIRED are “Yes” and “No”. When

set to “Yes”, the Adder will be part of the

item’s dialog and will always be selected.

Only Adders with Options should use this

Attribute.

MODIFIER: Use this subcontainer to define

any ability-specific Modifiers which are

available. If you want to replace one of the

standard Modifier definitions, you should

create a Modifier with the same XMLID as

the Modifier you wish to replace. MODIFIER

containers can contain Adders and other

Modifiers.

The MODIFIER subcontainer may use a

MULTIPLIER attribute to specify whether or

not the Modifier is to appear as a multiplier

on the dialog. Valid values for MULTIPLIER

are “Yes” and “No”. For example, when

MULTIPLIER is set to “Yes”, a +1 Modifier is

displayed as a x2 multiplier.

TYPE: This subcontainer defines the type of the

item (for example, ATTACK or DEFENSE).

The type determines what Modifiers should

be made available as well as what Enhancers

will apply to a given Skill or Perk. The

container’s contents should be text. This

container may be repeated multiple times so

that an item may actually have multiple types.

EXAMPLE: If the item’s container has an

INPUTLABEL attribute, this subcontainer

specifies a predefined input example that will

appear in the dropdown list for the field in

the item’s dialog labeled by INPUTLABEL.

Repeat this container for every input example

you want.

TEMPLATE CONTAINER

The main TEMPLATE container contains all the

other containers used in the template. The following

are valid attributes for the TEMPLATE container:

version: This attributes specifies the version of

Hero Designer character template tags with

which the template was designed to be used.

For example, templates designed for Hero

Designer v2, v3, and 6th Edition would have

this attribute set to “2.0”.

extends: This attribute specifies the template that

this template extends. For example, the builtin

Superheroic template extends the built-in

Main template and thus, has this attribute set

to “builtIn.Main.hdt”.

ABILITy CONTAINERS

Most abilities (Skills, Perks, Talents, and so

forth) defined by the template are defined by a

container that bears the name of the ability (for

example, the Acrobatics Skill is defined in the

ACROBATICS container) or a variation of that

name (for example, the Darkness Power is defined

in the DARKNESS container).

Each ability container features an appropriately

named generic container that allows you to define

new abilities of that type. For example, you can use

the generic SKILL container to define new Skills

within the SKILLS container. Adders, Modifiers,

and Disadvantages are also defined with generic

containers.

When creating new abilities, it is often useful to

copy the definition of a similar ability to use as your

starting point and edit it appropriately. As always,

be sure to assign a unique XMLID when defining

new items.

MAINAPP SECTION

The MAINAPP section of the template is

specified with the MAINAPP container.

This container defines the basic application

level parameters for characters built with the

template. This includes the fields that appear on

the Background tab and, for HERO System Fifth

Edition templates, information on how Normal

Characteristic Maxima affect characters built with

the template.

All attributes of the MAINAPP tag are fixed, that

is, you can modify the values, but you cannot create

new attributes. The following are valid attributes for

the MAINAPP container:

HEIGHT: This attribute specifies whether or not

a Height field appears on the Background

tab allowing users to enter the height of a

character. Valid values are “Yes” or “No”.

WEIGHT: This attribute specifies whether

or not a Weight field appears on the

Background tab allowing users to enter the

weight of a character. Valid values are “Yes”

or “No”.

EYECOLOR: This attribute specifies whether

or not an Eye Color field appears on the

Background tab allowing users to enter the

eye color of a character. Valid values are “Yes”

or “No”.

HAIRCOLOR: This attribute specifies whether

or not a Hair Color field appears on the

Background tab allowing users to enter the

hair color of a character. Valid values are

“Yes” or “No”.

BACKGROUND_TAB: This attribute specifies

whether or not the Background tab is

included. Valid values are “Yes” or “No”.

NCM_COST_MULTIPLIER: This attribute

specifies the effect of exceeding the Normal

Characteristic Maxima level on a given

Characteristic, that is, the value indicates by


Hero Designer 6th Edition

Character Templates ■ 47

how much to multiply the cost of increased

levels. The value must be an integer.

This attribute can be omitted if the characters

to be built with the template do not use

Normal Characteristic Maxima. For example,

the standard Vehicle template does not use

this attribute nor do HERO System Sixth

Edition characters.

GENERAL_LEVEL: This attribute specifies the

value for the “General” Characteristic. This

is used for Skills such as Knowledge Skills

which are based off of “General” rather than

a Characteristic. The standard templates have

this attribute set to “10”.

The MAINAPP section also defines Normal

Characteristic Maxima with the NCM container.

If you do not want Normal Characteristic Maxima

available for characters built with this template, do

not include the NCM container.

The NCM container has the following attributes:

XMLID: This attribute is described in the

“Common Attributes” section on page 44.

DISPLAY: This attribute specifies what you want

Normal Characteristic Maxima to be called in

this template. This is normally set to “Normal

Characteristic Maxima”.

BASECOST: This attribute specifies the base

value of the Disadvantage associated with

Normal Characteristic Maxima. The value

must be an integer.

For example, standard Heroic templates

have this attribute set to “0”, while standard

Superheroic templates have it set to “20”.

Within the NCM container, you can specify

any number of OPTION containers that define

the various age restrictions available. Each of these

OPTION containers must have a unique XMLID.

Each Characteristic affected by the age restriction

must also have a corresponding attribute (with the

same name as the OPTION’s XMLID attribute)

that specifies the Characteristic maximum for that

age restriction. Examples of this can be seen in the

copies of the standard templates provided.

Each OPTION container used to define an

age restriction also has a DISPLAY attribute that

specifies the name of the restriction (for example,

“40+ Years Old”) and a BASECOST attribute that

specifies the value of the Disadvantage associated

with taking Normal Characteristic Maxima and this

age restriction.

Finally, the MAINAPP section also uses

several subcontainers to specify the labels used

for fields on the Basic Info and Background

tabs. These subcontainers are listed in the “Basic

Info Fields” and “Background Fields” sidebars

on page 46. If any of these subcontainers (except

EYE_COLOR or HAIR_COLOR) are empty (for

example, or

), the field that it labels is removed from

the appropriate tab.

CHARACTERISTICS SECTION

This section defines the Characteristics available

for characters built with this template.

A template can include any of the Characteristics

listed in the “Available Characteristics” sidebar,

as appropriate. For example, in the standard

Hero Designer templates, the DEF and SIZE

Characteristics are only used in the Vehicle

template, while the BASESIZE Characteristic is

only used in the Base template. There are also 10

custom characteristics (CUSTOM1, CUSTOM2,

… CUSTOM10) that you can use to define new

characteristics.

To include a Characteristic in a template, the

CHARACTERISTICS section should include a

container with the name of the Characteristic. Such

a container can have the following attributes:

BASE: This attribute specifies the base value for

the Characteristic on the Characteristics tab.

Any levels gained from this are free.

POSITION: This attribute specifies position

in the Characteristic list in which the

Characteristic should appear (relative to the

others)

[XXX]INCREASE: This attribute specifies the

amount to increase another Characteristic

(or other aspect of the character) relative to

this one.

[XXX]INCREASELEVELS: This attribute

specifies the number of levels of the

Characteristic before the increase defined

by [XXX]INCREASE takes effect. For

example, the DEX container in HERO

System Fifth Edition templates has the

attributes SPDINCREASE=“1” and

SPDINCREASELEVELS=“10”.

Using the [XXX]INCREASE and [XXX]

INCREASELEVELS attributes let you specify which

Characteristics are Figured Characteristics as well

as the formula used to determine their value. Valid

values for [XXX] are STR, DEX, CON, BODY, INT,

EGO, PRE, COM, PD, ED, SPD, REC, END, STUN,

KB, REACH, HEIGHT, WIDTH, DCV, OCV,

PER, ECV, DEF, SIZE, LEAPING, RUNNING,

and SWIMMING as well as CUSTOM1,

CUSTOM2, … CUSTOM10. You should never

have a Characteristic increase itself in this manner

(that is, the STR container should never have

the STRINCREASE or STRINCREASELEVELS

attributes).

The OCVINCREASE, DCVINCREASE,

OCVINCREASELEVELS, and

DCVINCREASELEVELS attributes are only usable

with the calculated OCV and DCV in HERO System

Fifth Edition templates, and not with the OCV and

DCV Characteristics in HERO System Sixth Edition

templates.

In templates that use Normal Characteristic

Maxima (NCM), Characteristic containers also

define the various limits for NCM. These attributes

take the form of NCM=“10” or NCM40=“15”,

and so forth. The name of the attribute (that is,

AvAILABLE

CHARACTERISTICS

There are many built-in

Characteristic containers

that can be specified in a

Hero Designer character

template. The following are

from HERO System Fifth

Edition:

■ STR

■ DEX

■ CON

■ BODY

■ INT

■ EGO

■ PRE

■ COM

■ PD

■ ED

■ SPD

■ REC

■ END

■ STUN

■ DEF

■ SIZE

■ BASESIZE

■ RUNNING

■ SWIMMING

■ LEAPING

In addition, the following

built-in Characteristic

containers from HERO

System Sixth Edition are

available:

■ OCV

■ DCV

■ OMCV

■ DMCV

Finally, the following

custom Characteristic

container are available:

■ CUSTOM1

■ CUSTOM2

■ CUSTOM3

■ CUSTOM4

■ CUSTOM5

■ CUSTOM6

■ CUSTOM7

■ CUSTOM8

■ CUSTOM9

■ CUSTOM10


48 ■ Character Templates Hero Designer 6th Edition

NCM or NCM40) should match the XMLID of

the appropriate NCM OPTION specified in the

MAINAPP section. The value is the maximum

value before the Normal Characteristic Maxima

cost multiplier kicks in.

In addition, Characteristic containers can

include Adders and Modifiers, although these will

only be used when the Characteristic is purchased

as a Power.

An example of modifying Characteristic

definitions and adding new Characteristics appears

in the “Creating Extension Templates” section on

page 50.

SKILLS SECTION

The SKILLS section defines the Skills available

for characters built with the template.

In addition to the common subcontainers

listed on page 45, Skills use a subcontainer called

CHARACTERISTIC_CHOICE. This subcontainer

specifies on what Characteristic a Skill is based.

When multiple CHARACTERISTIC_CHOICE

subcontainers are present, users are presented with

a dropdown selection list, letting them choose

on which Characteristic to base the Skill. Each

CHARACTERISTIC_CHOICE subcontainer has a

single subcontainer of its own: ITEM.

ITEM can define the following values:

BASECOST, LVLCOST, LVLVAL, and

CHARACTERISTIC. The CHARACTERISTIC

value should match one of the Characteristics

defined in the template’s CHARACTERISTICS

section. Additionally, you may use the value

GENERAL to refer to the GENERAL_LEVEL

defined in the MAINAPP section.

As a general rule, you should not change

flat-cost Skills (that is, Skills that do not have a

LVLCOST, LVLVAL, and so forth defined) to levelbased

Skills or vice-versa. The safest way to edit

abilities in this section is to just change the values of

attributes that are already specified.

You can add Adders and Modifiers to any Skill.

To create new Skills, use the generic SKILL

container and assign it a unique XMLID.

This container uses the same attributes and

subcontainers as the predefined Skills. An example

of creating a new Skill appears in the “Creating

Extension Templates” section on page 50.

SKILL_ENHANCERS SECTION

All Skill Enhancers (Scholar, Scientist, and so

forth) are defined in this section. The available Skill

Enhancers are fixed, though you can change any

of the attributes and set what types of item each

affects (for example, KNOWLEDGE, CONTACT,

and so forth) by using the TYPE container.

The only attribute unique to Skill Enhancers is

COSTSAVINGS. This attribute should be set to an

integer value and represents the amount to deduct

from the cost of any abilities which match the

Enhancer’s type.

You cannot add new Skill Enhancers. Nor

can you can you remove a Skill Enhancer from

the menu. However, you can use the REMOVE

container described in “Creating Extension

Templates” on page 50 to disable a Skill Enhancer

and prevent it from being selected from the Skill

Enhancer menu. You can also use Custom Adders

to simulate new Skill Enhancers as described

in the “Attaching Custom Adders To Lists And

Frameworks” sidebar on page 26.

MARTIAL_ARTS SECTION

All Martial Maneuvers and related abilities

(extra Damage Classes, Weapon Element, and

so forth) are defined in this section. The related

abilities (extra Damage Classes, Weapon Element,

and so forth) are fixed (that is, you cannot add new

ones), though the attributes can all be edited to

change their structure.

All maneuvers are defined with the generic

MANEUVER container. The valid attributes for the

MANEUVER container are as follows:

DISPLAY: This attribute specifies the default

name of the maneuver.

CATEGORY: This attribute specifies the

category of the Maneuver. By default, there

are two categories: “Hand To Hand” and

“Ranged”. If you define a Maneuver with a

different value for CATEGORY, it will be

placed in a list for that category. Any string

value may be used here.

OCV: This attribute specifies the OCV modifier

for the Maneuver. Any String value may

be used here (so you may specify “--“ for

Maneuvers like Dodge) , though the length of

the string should be limited for formatting.

DCV: This attribute specifies the DCV modifier

for the maneuver. Any String value may be

used here, though the length of the string

should be limited for formatting.

DC: This attribute specifies the number of

additional damage classes of effect this

Maneuver provides. Any integer value may be

used here.

PHASE: This attribute specifies how many

phases it takes to perform the Maneuver. Any

string value may be used here, though for

formatting, you should limit the length to 3

characters or less.

EFFECT: This attribute specifies the text that

should appear in the effect column for this

Maneuver.

WEAPONEFFECT: This attribute specifies the

text that should appear in the effect column

for this Maneuver if the user specifies that it

is used with a weapon. The presence of this

Attribute will create a drop-down list for the

user to select whether they are purchasing the

maneuver for use with a weapon or empty

hand.

The EFFECT and WEAPONEFFECT

attributes specify the damage that a Maneuver


Hero Designer 6th Edition Character Templates ■ 49

does. To represent the different types of damage

(normal, killing, NND, and so forth), you

can use the following special strings within

the value definitions for these attributes:

[NORMALDC], [WEAPONDC], [FLASHDC],

[NNDDC], [STRDC], [KILLINGDC], and

[WEAPONKILLINGDC]. These special strings

include, where appropriate, all Damage Classes

from both the maneuver itself and the character’s

STR as well as any appropriate extra Damage

Classes purchased.

For example, the EFFECT attribute for the Basic

Strike Maneuver is set to “[NORMALDC] Strike” in

the standard templates resulting in a display of “6d6

Strike” for a STR 15 character who has purchased

+1HTH Damage Class(es).

PERKS SECTION

All Perks are defined in this section. The list of

available Perks is fixed, though the attributes for any

given Perk can be edited to change most aspects of

the Perk itself.

As a general rule, you should not change

flat-cost Perks (that is, Perks that do not have

LVLCOST, LVLVAL, and so forth defined) to

level-based Perks or vice-versa. The safest way to

edit abilities in this section is to change the values

of Attributes that are already specified. Also, you

cannot change a roll-based Perk to a non-roll-based

Perk (or vice versa) as the formatting for display

on the character sheet pane (and thus, exporting as

well) is contained within the application itself.

You can add Adders and/or Modifiers to any of

the Perks.

To create new Perks, use the generic PERK

container and assign it a unique XMLID.

This container uses the same attributes and

subcontainers as the predefined Perks.

TALENTS SECTION

All Talents are defined in this section. The list

of available Talents is fixed, though the attributes

for any given Talent can be edited to change most

aspects of the Talent itself.

In addition to the common subcontainers

listed on page 45, Talents use a subcontainer called

CHARACTERISTIC_CHOICE. This subcontainer

specifies on what Characteristic a Talent is

based. When a Talent container has multiple

CHARACTERISTIC_CHOICE subcontainers,

the users are presented with a dropdown

selection list, letting them choose on which of

these Characteristics to base the Talent. Each

CHARACTERISTIC_CHOICE subcontainer has a

single subcontainer of its own: ITEM.

ITEM can define the following values:

BASECOST, LVLCOST, LVLVAL, and

CHARACTERISTIC. The CHARACTERISTIC

value should match one of the Characteristics

defined in the template’s CHARACTERISTICS

section. Additionally, you may use the value

GENERAL to refer to the GENERAL_LEVEL

defined in the MAINAPP section.

As a general rule, you should not change

flat-cost Talents (i.e. Talents that do not have a

LVLCOST, etc. defined) to level-based Talents or

vice-versa. The safest way to edit abilities in this

section is to change the values of Attributes that

are already specified. Also, you cannot change a

roll-based Talent to a non-roll-based Talent (or vice

versa) as the formatting for display for display on

the character sheet pane (and thus, exporting as

well) is contained within the application itself.

You can add Adders and/or Modifiers to any of

the Talents.

To create new Talents, use the generic TALENT

container and assign it a unique XMLID.

This container uses the same attributes and

subcontainers as the predefined Talents..

POWERS SECTION

All Powers are defined in this section. The list

of available Powers is fixed, though the attributes

for any given Power can be edited to change most

aspects of the Power itself.

In addition to the common attributes listed on

page 44, Power containers can have the following

attributes:

DURATION: This attribute specifies the

duration of the Power. Valid values are

“INSTANT”, “CONSTANT”, “PERSISTENT”,

and “INHERENT”.

TARGET: This attribute specifies how the Power

is targeted. Valid values are “SELFONLY”,

“DCV”, “ECV”, and “HEX”.

The value “HEX” is also used for Powers that

target a 2 meter area in HERO System Sixth

Edition.

RANGE: This attributes specifies the range of

the Power. Valid values are “SELF”, “Yes”,

“No”, and “LOS”.

VISIBLE: This attribute specifies whether or not

a Power is visible. Valid values are “Yes” and

“No”.

In addition, Power Containers can also

use the attributes [XXX]INCREASE and

[XXX]INCREASELEVELS as defined in

“CHARACTERISTICS Section” on page 47.

MODIFIERS SECTION

All Modifiers are defined in this section.

Modifiers use the generic MODIFIER container

combined with a unique XMLID. This means you

can create as many new Modifiers as you like. Each

Modifier is defined in a MODIFIER container.

A MODIFIER container may use the

EXCLUDES and REQUIRES attributes. These

attributes hold a simple string which should be

equal to the XMLID of the Modifier that you wish

to make exclusive or required.


50 ■ Character Templates Hero Designer 6th Edition

BUILT-IN TEMPLATE

NAMES

The following are the

names of the built-in

templates to be used with

the extends attribute of the

TEMPLATE container:

■ builtIn.Main6E.hdt

■ builtIn.Heroic6E.hdt

■ builtIn.Superheroic6E.

hdt

■ builtIn.Vehicle6E.hdt

■ builtIn.Base6E.hdt

■ builtIn.Automaton6E.hdt

■ builtIn.Computer6E.hdt

■ builtIn.AI6E.hdt

■ builtIn.Main.hdt

■ builtIn.Normal.hdt

■ builtIn.Heroic.hdt

■ builtIn.Superheroic.hdt

■ builtIn.Vehicle.hdt

■ builtIn.Base.hdt

■ builtIn.Automaton.hdt

■ builtIn.Computer.hdt

■ builtIn.AI.hdt

DISADvANTAgES SECTION

All Complications (or Disadvantages) are

defined in this section. Complications use the

generic DISADVANTAGE container combined

with a unique XMLID. This means you can create as

many new Complications as you like. There are no

special Attributes or Containers for Complications.

Complications in the standard templates make

heavy use of the REQUIRED attribute for many of

their Adders.

Creating Extension

Templates

As mentioned earlier, the recommended way to

create a custom template is to create an extension

template that is based on one of the existing

built-in templates. This section looks at common

considerations when creating an extension template

based on the built-in Main template.

An extension template contains all the sections

of a standard template. So, to begin, it’s best to start

with an empty template that basically inherits all

the features of the Main template. In fact, that is

how the built-in Superheroic template is defined.



...



...



...



...



...



...



...



...



...



...



Once you have the basic template defined, you

can add the changes you want.

First, you decide you want to add a new Figured

Characteristic named Education (EDU) to a HERO

System Fifth Edition template. EDU will have a

base value of INT/2 and can be increased at a cost

of 1 point per +1. As mentioned earlier, you can

implement the addition of a new Characteristic

by using the custom Characteristics, in this

case, CUSTOM1. However, because this new

Characteristic is based on INT, you must redefine

both CUSTOM1 and INT. To do so, include the

following in the CHARACTERISTICS container:


Hero System Fifth Edition Rule Book

Sidekick

(Hero System Fifth Edition Rule Book,

page 23; Revised, page 37) Intelligence represents a

character’s ability to take in and process information

quickly.



(Template extension) Education

represents a character’s level of education.


This positions the new EDU Characteristic

at the bottom of the Characteristic list following

the Movement abilities. To position it somewhere

else in the list, you would need to redefine any

Characteristics which would follow it in the list to

adjust its POSITION attribute.

If you were adding EDU as a Characteristic to a

HERO System Sixth Edition template, the approach

would be slightly different. In this case, EDU will

not be based on INT but will simply have a starting

value of 2. As a result, there is no need to redefine

INT; you need only define EDU.


(Template extension) Education

represents a character’s level of education.


Next you decide to add a new Skill named

Leadership based on the example from the HERO

System Sixth Edition and HERO System Sixth

Edition rulebooks. To do so, you would make use of

the generic SKILL container described in “SKILLS


Hero Designer 6th Edition Character Templates ■ 51

Section” on page 48 and place the following definition

in the SKILLS container of a HERO System Fifth

Edition template:





Hero System Fifth Edition Rule Book

(Hero System Fifth Edition Rule Book

sample, page 352; Revised, page 562)Characters

with this Interaction Skill can lead and inspire men

in battle.



For a HERO System Sixth Edition temple, you

would place the following in the SKILLS container:





Characters with this Interaction Skill can

lead and inspire men in battle.



The easiest way to create this definition is to

copy the definition of a similar Skill (in this case,

Persuasion) and edit it appropriately.

You also decide that you do not want the

Universal Translator Talent in this custom template.

To accomplish this, you would use the REMOVE

container and place the following in the TALENTS

container:

UNIVERSAL_TRANSLATOR

The REMOVE container causes the extension

template not to inherit an item from the template

it is based on. The value placed in the container

identifies the item. For items which have a unique

container such as Universal Translator, it is the

name of that container. For items which have an

XMLID attribute, it is the value of that attribute. For

example, to remove the Indirect Advantage, which

has an XMLID of “INDIRECT”, you would place

the following in the MODIFIERS container:

INDIRECT

As these examples show, you can express the

differences between the extension template and the

base template using three different methods: adding

new items, redefining existing ones, and removing

items.

So far, the examples given have been of a single

extension template extending a single built-in

template. That is, the extension template inherits

features from a single parent template. However,

you can also create an extension template that

inherits features from multiple parent templates. To

do so, instead of specifying a single template name

as the value of the extends attribute, you specify

a comma-separated list of template names as the

value of that attribute.

The order of the parent templates in this list is

very important. The first template in the string gets

precedence over all others, and so on down the

string. For example, if you have a custom template

named C.hdt which has the following extends

attribute:

extends=”A.hdt, B.hdt”>

If A.hdt and B.hdt both define the Armor Power,

A’s definition will be used as the base for C.hdt

because A.hdt comes before B.hdt in the list of

parent templates.

Things get a little more confusing when dealing

with REMOVE containers in the parent templates.

Suppose A.hdt removes the STR Characteristic,

but B.hdt does not. C.hdt will contain B.hdt’s

definition of the STR Characteristic. If you don’t

want this, you will need to either remove STR from

C.hdt or redefine it, whichever suits your needs.

The best way to think about this is that C.hdt

inherits the first definition of a given ability in the

list of parent templates. Since A.hdt removes the

definition for STR, it does not have that ability.

B.hdt therefore becomes the first template in the list

to contain the definition.

Another tricky area is the containers found in

the MAINAPP section. In general, the first template

in list of parent templates defines the defaults for

the MAINAPP section. The only exception is NCM.

The first template in the list of parent templates

which contains an NCM container defines both

the NCM object as well as the default value for the

NCM cost multiplier for the extension template.

When you have finished creating your extension

template be sure to save it with a .hdt extension. You

can then assign it to a character by selecting Choose

File… from the Template menu as described in

the “Changing The Character Template” section on

page 6.


52 ■ Export Formats Hero Designer 6th Edition

ExPORT FORMATS

As briefly described in the “Basic Concepts”

chapter on page 2, Export Formats are

files which contain special fields that

get replaced by information from your

character when you export that character.

Because the Export Format determines what

information is exported and where it is placed

in the exported file, this feature lets you create

character sheets with a wide variety of looks.

Hero Designer provides many Export Formats

including a HTML template based on the standard

HERO System Fifth Edition character sheet as well

as a variety of HERO System Sixth Edition formats

and many others. These can be found in the Export

Formats section of the Hero Designer area of the

Hero Games website (www.herogames.com).

Currently, Hero Designer only exports text files.

This means that you can only create templates in

text-based formats. This could be HTML (for web

browsers), plain text, or more complex formats such

as RTF (used by many word processors including

Microsoft Word). You cannot create templates in

binary formats.

You can edit or create an Export Format using

any standard text editor such as the Notepad

application on Windows systems or the VI editor on

Linux and UNIX systems. Once you have finished

editing or creating an Export Format, be sure to

save it with a .hde extension. Only files with a .hde

extension are recognized as Export Formats.

While the following sections describe the

structure of an Export Format and define the tags

and containers used, a greater understanding can be

obtained by viewing the Export Formats available,

so you can see how these items are actually used.

You can also often find help with creating Export

Formats in the Hero Designer discussion board on

the Hero Games website at www.herogames.com.

CREATINg AN ExPORT

FORMAT

The Export Format structure is based on tags

and containers. The definition of a tag is simply

anything that looks like the following:


A container has a similar appearance, but (as the

name suggests) it contains other items. It has both a

beginning and an ending tag. Like this:


…any text here….


The tag for the end of the container is the

same as the tag for the beginning with a / inserted

before the container name. Note that the “--” at the

beginning and end of tag names is two hyphens.

Tags are single entities. They don’t contain

anything and Hero Designer simply replaces them

with the appropriate value when it creates an

export file. You can repeat any tag as many times

as you want. Each occurrence is replaced with the

appropriate value.

Containers may contain other tags or even other

containers. There are several containers that entail

certain logical checks be made by the application

before inserting any values. These will be discussed

below.

A list of the available tags and containers appears

in the “Available Tags And Containers” section on

page 54. A similar list can be found in the Export

Formats section of the Hero Designer area of the

Hero Games website (www.herogames.com). As

updates to Hero Designer are released, additional

tags and containers may be made available. If there

is information that you would like to see made

available for export, send an e-mail to support@

herodesigner.com requesting it.

To create an Export Format, you simply write

the template file in whatever mark-up language you

choose (plain text, HTML, RTF, TEX, LaTEX, and

so forth) and insert the tags and containers at the

point where you want text from the character to be

inserted.

Any text that is inside of a container is

preserved. This is useful when dealing with

containers that represent “1 to many” values

(like Powers). These containers loop through

the specified values and insert the text and tags

contained within them once for each value they

encounter. For example, the …

container will loop through each

Power the character has bought and each time,

insert the text between the beginning and ending


Hero Designer 6th Edition Export Formats ■ 53

tag. If there are any subcontainers or tags, they will

be evaluated for each Power.

Once you have written and saved your Export

Format, you’re ready to test it out. Fire up Hero

Designer and try exporting a character with the

new format.

Describing The Format

Hero Designer has several containers for

specifying general information about the Export

Format.

To specify the display name of the Export

Format to be used in the list of available formats

presented by Hero Designer, use the container:



The text in this container is used as the display.

Everything from the beginning tag to the ending

tag (inclusive) will be removed from the final export

file. The name should be kept short for display

purposes.

To specify the description of the Export Format

to be displayed in this list, use the container:



The text contained between these two tags

will appear as the format’s description in the list

of available Export Formats presented by Hero

Designer. Everything from the beginning tag to the

ending tag (inclusive) will be removed from the

final export file.

To specify the valid file extensions for files

exported using this Export Format, use the

container:



This container can be repeated multiple times.

For example:

html

htm

Replacement Containers

Occasionally, when creating a Hero Designer

Export Format, you may find it useful to be able to

replace one string of text in the output with another

each time the first string occurs. You can do this by

using the REPLACE container and its associated

subcontainers. For example:


abc

xyz


replaces each occurrence of the string “abc” (as

specified by the DEFSTRING subcontainer) with

the string “xyz” (as specified by the REPSTRING

subcontainer).

For more sophisticated replacements, Hero

Designer provides the REG_REPLACE container

and its subcontainers. This container has the form:





This is similar to the REPLACE container except

that the REGSTRING subcontainer contains a

regular expression. Regular expressions are complex

constructions that specify a pattern of characters

to be matched. They are particularly common in

many UNIX utilities and in languages like Perl.

A discussion of regular expressions is beyond the

scope of this manual; however, the a quick web

search should turn up plenty of information if

you are not already familiar with the concept. The

REPSTRING subcontainer specifies the string that

will replace the strings matched by the regular

expression in the REGSTRING subcontainer.

MATH Container

Hero Designer also allows you to perform

basic mathematical calculation with the MATH

container. The contents of this container is a

mathematical expression. In the exported file, the

MATH container is replaced with the calculated

value of the expression. For example:


3 *


is replaced with the value of 3 times the

character’s STR characteristic.

Mathematical expressions in the MATH

container can use the four basic mathematical

operations (+, -, *, and /) as well as parentheses.

Conditional Containers

Hero Designer features a variety of conditional

containers. These containers (which normally begin

with IF or IS) only have their contents included in

the exported files if the condition is true.

For example, the following container only has

its contents included if the character has purchased

any Maneuvers:



Similarly, the following container only has its

contents included if the current item is in a list or

Framework:



Looping Containers

This section describes looping containers and

some of the tags and other containers that can be

used in conjunction with them.


54 ■ Export Formats Hero Designer 6th Edition

As mentioned earlier, containers that represent

general ability categories such as:



automatically loop through all abilities of that type,

one at a time.

Hero Designer also has several containers which

give you greater control over such loops.

To specify the item which begins the loop, use

the container:



For example, the following means “Start with the

10th item in the loop:”:

10

Similarly, the following container specifies which

item ends the loop:



For example the following means “Stop with the

20th item in the loop:”:

20

These containers let you create Export Formats

that place sections of an ability list in different

places of the exported file.

COMBAT RECORD ExPORT

FORMATS

Combat record Export Formats are a special case

of Export Format. As the name indicates, they are

used for exporting combat records, as described in

the “Combat Records” section on page 31.

In most ways, combat record Export Formats are

just like regular Export Formats with one exception.

They have a special container:



which is a looping container that loops through

each character specified to be included in the

combat record. Within this container, you can place

any appropriate tag or container. The following

containers are particularly appropriate for including

a table that shows which characters act in which

phases:









Once you have finished editing or creating a

combat record Export Format, be sure to save the

template with a .hcr extension. Only files with a .hcr

extension are recognized as combat record Export

Formats.

AvAILABLE TAgS AND

CONTAINERS

Basic Tags

FORMAT INFORMATION TAgS








CHARACTER INFORMATION TAgS











































Hero Designer 6th Edition Export Formats ■ 55

IMAgE TAgS









POINT TOTAL TAgS
























OCv, DCv, AND ECv TAgS










EqUIPMENT TAgS




REPLACEMENT TAgS













MATH TAgS


[simple math formulae including the symbols *, /,

+, -, (, )]


NOTE TAgS


























COMBAT RECORD TAgS









RUNNINg TAgS

Movement Tags













SWIMMINg TAgS








56 ■ Export Formats Hero Designer 6th Edition






LEAPINg TAgS













FLIgHT TAgS













gLIDINg TAgS













SWINgINg TAgS













TELEPORTATION TAgS













TUNNELINg TAgS













Characteristic Tags

gENERAL CHARACTERISTIC TAgS













SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTIC TAgS







[General Characteristic Tags]




[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



Hero Designer 6th Edition Export Formats ■ 57


[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]







[General Characteristic Tags]







[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]




[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]



[General Characteristic Tags]







[General Characteristic Tags]


gENERAL TAgS













Ability Tags


58 ■ Export Formats Hero Designer 6th Edition










































[General Tags]



[General Tags]


COMBAT LEvEL TAgS






[General Tags]


LIgHTNINg REFLExES






[General Tags]


MARTIAL ART TAgS










[General Tags]







[General Tags]
















[General Tags]


SKILL TAgS











[General Tags]


PERK TAgS









[General Tags]


Hero Designer 6th Edition Export Formats ■ 59

TALENT TAgS







[General Tags]


POWER TAgS








































[General Tags]





[General Tags]


EqUIPMENT TAgS










































[General Tags]





[General Tags]


COMPLICATION/DISADvANTAgE TAgS






[General Tags]

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